Georgetown, Guyana – (July 10, 2019) First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger commended the collaboration between the Ministries of Education and Public Health on the official launch of the School Health Clubs at a ceremony held, this morning, at Camp Wesleyan, Soesdyke-Linden Highway.

In her address at the ceremony, the First Lady noted that the clubs are an important step in ensuring that both students and teachers have access to information that will help them to cultivate healthy habits that will lead them to develop overall healthy lifestyles.

“The fact that the need for across the board collaboration to ensure healthy children has been recognised, is a very good starting point… Our adults (parents, teachers and community leaders) also have to understand the importance of a nurturing environment to the physical, psychological and spiritual growth of our children,” she said.

The First Lady also noted that another starting point will be the delivery of Health and Family Life Education (HFLE), in age appropriate language, in all schools. “It is important to underline that HFLE is not teaching children about sex, but rather, teaching them to understand how their bodies develop and function,” she said.

Sixteen clubs have been established in schools in Essequibo Islands-West Demerara (Region Three); Demerara-Mahaica (Region Four) and Upper Demerara-Berbice (Region 10). A community health worker, community members and representatives from the Parent-Teachers Association (PTA) number among their members.

The launch was soon followed by a capacity-building workshop hosted by the Ministry of Public for over 70 youth and 20 teachers to oversee the activities of the club.

Meanwhile, Ministry of Public Health, Schools Health Officer, Dr. Faqueeda Watson- Jones said each club is mandated to draft a work plan that is based on a needs assessment of the school and community. “The purpose of the clubs are to conduct activities that will look at the [health] issues affecting young people within the school and that of the community,” she said.

Regional Health Officer, Dr. Quincy Jones; United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Youth and Adolescent Development Officer, Ms. Jewel Crosse and members of Team Rubicon, an international non-governmental organization founded by United States (US) Marines also attended the launch. Team Rubicon will be facilitating training for participants in the areas of cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid.

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