September was the start of a brand new term for schools in Kenya, which means our Healthy Schools Program has been very busy lately! We now have six schools enrolled in our programs, and teachers and parents at these schools have been very supportive and enthusiastic about helping us improve student health. Healthy schools produce healthy students who will grow up to be successful community members!
After a human-centered design work session, the Healthy Schools Program is launching a new health care package in response to feedback from teachers and parents. Our previous package offered a comprehensive check-up, one free consultation at the Access Afya clinic, regular deworming, and health education once a week.
The new Healthy Schools Program package highlights free medications and lab tests to confirm diagnosis at our clinics when recommended by an Access Afya clinician, regular doctor’s visits during deworming sessions at schools, a health club membership, and a comprehensive check-up at the beginning of every term to screen and baseline children. In addition, we went a step further to provide extra incentive measures for parents by partnering with MicroEnsure, an insurance company that provides insurance policies targeted to low-income families and individuals. Through this partnership, we are able to offer hospital cash for students who need extended hospital stays and fire insurance for families in case their homes burn down. Fires are so common in the informal settlement neighborhoods that our students’ families live in. The fires not only affect families as a whole, but a child’s education and health suffers without a secure place to live. We’re proud of this new package and how it specifically addresses the needs expressed by families and teachers.
We’ve recently hired a new nurse to join our Healthy Schools team and we’re excited to be starting this term with renewed energy and enthusiasm to bring personalized health care to the schools in our community!