Abdulmalik Sabitu, Magaji Yunusa Matazu and Ibrahim Sukola Tambaya
School Health Services, Availability and Utilization
|PUBLISHED DATE||October 2016|
|PUBLISHER||The Author(s) 2016. This article is published with open access at www.chitkara.edu. in/publications|
The study investigated the utilization of available school health services among secondary school in Funtua Education Zone, Katsina State- Nigeria. The study adopted a survey research design using a sample of Fifteen (15) junior secondary schools randomly drawn from a population of twentytwo schools in the study area. Three research questions were formulated for the study. School Health Services Availability and Utilization Questionnaire (SHSAUQ) was used for data collection. The instrument was duly validated by experts and a reliability coefficient of 0.85 was established using split half method. The data was analyzed using frequency and percentage count. Results revealed that, School Health Services are available in majority (86.70%) of the schools under study, but there was no enough qualified health personnel for effective utilization of school health services in the study area. It was recommended among others that Katsina State Government through ministry of education should deploy qualified health personnel such as nurses, community health workers in all the school clinics in the state.
Making health services available to public schools as well as ensuring its effective utilization is one of the responsibilities of government to ensure the health of its citizens. Functional health services for school aged children is very important, especially in developing countries like Nigeria where health services are not easily accessible to many people. Study conducted by Obionu, (2007) revealed that, in many places children/students form as much as 30% of the population, so a health care for children/students takes care of a good proportion of the total population. School Health is referred to as the medical services rendered in the school environment that are directly or in directly related to the health of students. It involves medical inspection, routine immunization and normal diagnosis in the case of affected students in the school. Moreover, services like health education and other medical teaching applied in or out of schools to improve the health and wellbeing of students are integral parts of school health.
Reserchers indicated that considerable part of students life are usually spent in schools alone with their friends, that are from different home setting and upbringing (Mohammad and Jing-Zhen, 2009).
It was understood that, school aged children are in danger of being communicated with diseases through interactions with others and as result of exposure to different environmental conditions in the school. Similarly, students are at risk of being affected by infections, emotional problems, physical injury and other communicable diseases while in school. It is in line with this Abdulmalik, Olorukooba and Samaila, (2016) opined that, for students to perform very well in school, the learning environment must be favourable to the students health and well being.
Health services therefore, must not only made available in school but effectively utilized to ensure a healthy environment for effective learning to take place. Moreover, health related services in schools must be directed towards ensuring healthy condition for students, teachers and the learning environment to minimize the spread of communicable diseases and other health related problems. This can be achieved through health education, regular school inspection, taking inventory of new staff and students health records among others (UNESCO, 2011).
Study conducted by Bhatia, Puri, Mangat, and Kaur, (2010) indicated that, school health services does not only benefits staff and students, it also benefits the parents of the students. This is because students are expected to communicate the healthy living tips acquired in school to the parents.
Although parents are responsible for the health and well-being of their children, private health care providers and government services are resources to help parents deal with the health needs of their children. Since, students spent must of their working hours in school. According to Verginia (1999) healthy kids make better students; hence schools must cooperate with parents to successfully ensure the health and well-being of the children in and out of school. This showed that, functional school health services must be available for students to succeed.
It is in this regard, Nigeria government developed an action plan through the use of the Rapid Assessment and Action Planning Process (RAAP) partnered with World Health Organization (WHO) and Education Development Centre (EDC) in (2011), to serve as a foundation for infrastructure development for school health policy at the national level (Ogunjimi, Ikorok, Ekpu & Yusuf, 2010).
However, in many schools in Nigeria, school health services do not exist in spite of the fact that, the program started as far back as in1928 as reported by (UCL, 2006). In view of the foregoing therefore, the present study was prompted to examine the availability of school health services as they affect school aged children. Hence the present study was carried out to investigate the availability and utilization of school health services among junior secondary schools in Funtua zone Katsina State, Nigeria.
|ISSN||Print : 2393-8536, Online : 2393-8544|
This study observed that various components of school health services are available in majority of junior secondary schools in funtua education zone, Katsina State-Nigeria. However there is poor practice and coordination of school health services in the study area, which has medical, economic, social as well as psychological consequences in the state and country at large. The services were majorly coordinated by the teachers, therefore educating them on school health services and making it available will help in the production of physically, mentally and emotionally health population that will benefit the country in all aspects.