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close this bookPromoting Health Through Schools - Report of a WHO Expert Committee on Comprehensive School Health Education and Promotion (WHO, 1997, 104 p.)
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View the documentWHO Expert Committee on Comprehensive School Health Education and Promotion
Open this folder and view contents1. Introduction
Open this folder and view contents2. Trends in school health
Open this folder and view contents3. Strengthening school health programmes at the international, national, and local levels
Open this folder and view contents4. Research on school health programmes
Open this folder and view contents5. Recommendations
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentReferences
View the documentWorld Health Organization technical report series
View the documentSelected WHO publications of related interest
View the documentBack cover

Back cover

Education confers the ability to combine knowledge, attitudes, and skills and use them to shape one’s life and the lives of others. A higher educational level correlates with greater competence in decision-making, a better economic situation, and a higher degree of awareness concerning the benefits of and risks to health - indeed, education can be said to be a prerequisite for health. However, education cannot achieve its potential if young people do not attend school because of poor health and related conditions. Moreover, if children are ill, hungry, or malnourished, or suffer from undue stress, they cannot learn effectively in school. Likewise, early or unintended pregnancy, violence, infectious diseases, alcohol or drug abuse, and other health problems can limit the learning potential of adolescents. Therefore, the extent to which schools can become instruments of health promotion for children and adolescents is fundamental in determining whether they will be both educated and healthy, and whether they can lead fulfilling lives and contribute to building a better world.

This report of a WHO Expert Committee considers how best to make schools truly health promoting. It presents the rationale for school health promotion, cites significant features of the status of school health promotion worldwide, reviews existing research, notes common barriers to effective school health promotion, and offers a set of strategies to overcome these barriers. Many strategies are illustrated with concrete examples demonstrating success. Priority areas for research are also outlined. The report concludes with a set of recommendations that can serve as a charter for guiding the actions of educational and health professionals at different levels - local, national, and international - to advance the common cause of promoting health through schools.

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Price in developing countries: Sw. fr. 11.90

ISBN 92 4 129870 8