Applying One Health to Build Collaboration between School and Community through Student Health Assessment
In Thailand, a health-promoting school (HPS) program is being implemented nationwide. To complement the HPS program, Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) Tropical Medicine and Public Health (TROPMED) Network in collaboration with SEAMEO Regional Centre for STEM Education (STEM-ED), is currently piloting the “One Health Education in the School Setting” in Rujirapat School”, a Thai- Myanmar border school in Ratchaburi province. The project aims to promote concepts of “One Health” through the engagement of school officials, teachers and the community to help prevent the spread and transmission of zoonotic diseases. One of the major project activities is to undertake health assessment of students that will serve as baseline for improvement after health interventions.
During 18-22 July 2022, with the support from Chevron and Southeast Asia One Health University Network (SEAOHUN), SEAMEO TROPMED conducted “Student Health Assessment” at Rujirapat School. Medical doctors and health practitioners assessed health of over 1,000 students from kindergartens 2-3 and from Grades 1-9. The week-long health assessment activity begun with teachers’ orientation on related activities to provide program explanation and to build understanding on each activity: stool examination, Hemoglobin determination, and physical assessment. Informed consents were given by parents/guardians before the assessment.
The health assessment data are encrypted to ensure anonymity before analyses. Depending on the results, the SEAMEO TROPMED team will implement One Health education and appropriate interventions, including discussion with school officials, deworming and referral to health facility for further diagnostic and treatment, to improve health of the students. The students’ heath will be assessed again in the second semester to measure the improvement contributed by the program.