Provinces Implementing School Nursing Scheme To Retain Girls

By Manjima Dhakal

Kathmandu, Dec. 4: School nursing programme of provincial government has become effective to provide emergency medical services and to generate health awareness among children at the local levels. Bagmati Province had started the school nursing programme “One School One Nurse” three years ago and now the programme is emulated by other provinces due to its effectiveness.

Provinces have started the programme with a target to depute health workers in all community schools, but now only a limited number of schools have managed to hire nurses under the programme.
Bagmati Province started the programme from 21 schools in the fiscal year 2075/76 and extended it to 121 schools in 2076/77 and to 238 schools this year.
All these 238 nurses will be available at selected schools by January, said Deepak Kafle, secretary of the Ministry for Social Development of Bagmati Province. The provincial government has already started the recruitment process of school nurses, he said.

According to Kafle, the Province gives first priority to those secondary schools having more girl students and having more number of students on the basis of local governments’ recommendation.
Like Bagmati Province, Provice-1 has also introduced ‘One School One Nurse’ programme for three years. The Province started the programme from 14 schools in fiscal year 2075/76, extended it to 56 schools in fiscal year 2076/77 and decided to extend it to 145 secondary schools this year.

Sherdhan Rai, Chief Minister of the Province, said the programme seemed very effective for health counselling of school children, including in providing first aid to them. “The management of one nurse at each school is like availability of health facility at all local levels. Therefore, the Province government has planned to extend the programme in all community schools of the Province,” he added.

However, Province-2 government has started school nurse programme only from this fiscal year.
Nawal Kishor Sah, Minister for Social Development of the Province, said they had decided to implement the programme in 80 schools with 10 schools selected from each district of the province.

According to Sah, the province has launched the programme mainly to keep the girl students safe by providing health awareness from the school nurse.
Sah said many girl students of the Province do not attend schools during their menstruation, which is expected to be controlled after the implementation of the programme.

At a time when other provinces are expanding the programme, Gandaki Province has not introduced it yet.
Toyanath Lamsal, head of the Educational Planning and Research Division of the Province, said the Province had not introduced such type of programme.

Likewise, Lumbini Province has implemented the programme only in seven community schools since 2076/77 but it has not allocated any budget for this fiscal year.

Karnali Province and Sudurpashchim Province, which have poor health services, have also implemented the programme for health hygiene awareness and first aid of children.

Dal Rawal, Minister for Social Development of Karnali Province, said they had implemented school nursing programme only in 20 schools. But the Province has mobilised 201 nurses in 201 wards of local governments under community nursing programme. The community nursing programme has become a boon for gynaecological services in the remote villages.

Recently, Sudurpashchim Province has decided to implement the school nursing programme in 88 secondary schools of the Province from this year where one school from each local level is selected for the programme, said, Krishna Raj Subedi, Minister for Social Development of the Province.

The selected nurses will be deployed in those schools along with restarting of the classes, Minister Subedi said.
According to the provincial governments, the programme has been launched with the objective of providing emergency medical services to the students and counsel female students on reproductive health and sex education. Purna Prasad Duwadi, headmaster of Chitwan-based Narayani Model Secondary School, said that the programme had been a success at his school because it had helped minimise absenteeism in schools due to minor illnesses.

Female students feel comfortable expressing their personal problems to school nurses and the school nurses counsel their students about reproductive health, menstrual hygiene, quality food, nutrition, sex education and first aid treatment, Dawadi said.

The Rising Nepal

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