School Health and Nutrition

Primary school enrollment has increased dramatically in recent years. Schools provide an opportunity to reach a majority of children with health and nutrition services, education and improved practices. The benefits are numerous: better health and nutrition ensures that children attend and perform well in school and grow up healthier. School children are able to positively influence their families and communities.

Two recent initiatives aimed to strengthen School Health and Nutrition (SHN) in Indonesia and Haiti. In Indonesia, the focus was on ongoing school health and nutrition programs in the country to tackle more effectively the double burden of malnutrition (stunting and overweight) and to address health and nutrition factors influencing educational outcomes. In Haiti, we explored the potential to use the large scale, on-going school feeding program as a route to improving nutrition of high-risk groups.  

The Manoff Group applies Behavior-Centered ProgrammingSM to design locally appropriate and effective behavior change strategies to extend coverage of services and promote key practices that improve educational and health outcomes. These strategies build on formative research with students, their families and communities. Trials of Improved Practices (TIPs) are often used to define and test new practices. As a result, activities are tailored to the specific needs of the community.

The Manoff Group has worked through the UPHOLD program in Uganda to promote children's safety in primary schools. The Safe School Contract (SSC) was developed with the Ministry of Education and Sports to prevent sexual harassment and intergenerational sex, as well as to educate students about early pregnancy and HIV/AIDS. SSC encourages children to identify "Safety Friends" who will accompany them to meetings with adults, and calls for dialogue among parents, teachers, principals, and PTAs. The Manoff Group has also provided technical assistance to Save the Children's SHN programs in Malawi, the Philippines, and Bangladesh and managed an anemia reduction SHN project in Egypt and a school hygiene improvement project in the Dominican Republic.