The Power of Schools - Schools as a System to Improve Nutrition


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The Power of Schools - Schools as a System to Improve Nutrition

The Power of Schools - Schools as a System to Improve Nutrition

Schools seem to have amazing power to make change in the field of sanitation, water supply, hygiene, handwashing, and now this – improve nutrition.

Teach them about clean toilets, and when they go home, they force their parents to keep toilets clean. Handwashing in rural Sindh, Pakistan, is not practiced. In one area, school children were taught of the benefits of handwashing. More importantly, they were asked to get this enforced in their homes. They did, and achieved success.

A recent (Sep, 2017) publication titled: Schools as a System to Improve Nutrition, available at:

“Schools offer a unique opportunity to improve nutrition using a systemic, multi-sectoral approach. Social, health, economic and ethic arguments coalesce in and around schools. Looking at schools as a (food system) to improve nutrition offers insights into what interventions to implement and combine to ensure the best possible nutrition outcomes for children in schools, their families and their communities, both now and in future.

All nutrition interventions should be designed to be sustainable in the longer term. Stakeholders at all levels should be kept well informed and encouraged to participate, creating a system of support and interdependence, from the school and local level, to the intermediate levels of government and the private sector, to government ministries, national organizations, and international partners. Bringing the benefits of school-based intervention to scale requires leadership and ownership by national and regional governments, and while this should ultimately be the aim, donor involvement and support may be necessary at various stages.”

This is a unique opportunity for the education departments of developing countries to make most of the schools, in addition to their basic function of imparting education. Based on my local experience here, UNICEF needs to step in, and guide the education departments in developing countries, to make schools model of development at community levels.

F H Mughal
F H Mughal (Mr.)
Karachi, Pakistan
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