Promoting comprehensive health, nutrition and wellness among children in schools: The school health and wellness programme
Schools play a crucial role in fostering lifelong healthy behaviours among students. India is home to 265 million school going children (Ministry of Finance press release). This provides a significant opportunity to implement school-based health, nutrition and overall wellness promotion activities as part of the health and wellness component of the Ayushman Bharat Programme. The School Health and Wellness Programme (AB-SHWP), launched in February 2020, is a joint initiative of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of Education, Government of India, to address the need for a comprehensive preventive and promotive health education programme in schools. The programme is currently being implemented in government and government aided schools. Two teachers, preferably one male and one female, are designated as “Health and Wellness Ambassadors” in every school. As per the guidelines, they engage with school children to cover 11 distinct thematic areas through joyful activities for one hour every week. In line with the overall approach of Ayushman Bharat Programme, this initiative aims to support the existing programmes such as Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) and Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK) by strengthening the preventive and promotive aspects of health and nutrition in the school environment. This week’s PoshanWeekly brings to you the overview, operational guidelines and the rich repository of resources including posters and 11 thematic animated videos for children created by the government for this programme. We hope that these resources help you to accelerate efforts to promote health, nutrition and wellbeing among children.