School Health Services in Primary Schools in Jos, Nigeria
Globally, although school – aged children do not suffer from the high mortality of pre-school children, there exists a high burden of morbidity among them. School Health Services have been designed to appraise, protect and promote the health of the school population to enable them benefit maximally from the school system. We evaluated the status of the school health services in public and private primary schools in Jos. Materials and Methods: This was a cross sectional descriptive study.
A sampling ratio of 50% of all registered schools was applied to select 20 public and 46 private schools using a stratified random sampling technique. A School Health Evaluation Scale Questionnaire was completed for each school by direct interview and inspection. Results:Twenty four (36.4%) schools had health personnel, 2 public and 22 private (p = 0.003). Sixty- five (98.5%) schools performed routine inspection of the pupils. Twelve (18.2%) schools requested pre-admission/employment medical examination; these were all private schools. Fifty (75.8%) schools administered first aid to injured /ill children, 8 public and 42 private (p = 0.0001).
Health records were present in 10(15.1%) schools, one public and 9private (p = 0.26). There was no school nutrition programme in any of the schools. Only 21(31.8%) schools, 6 public and 15 private (p= 0.83) had been visited by the school health team in the preceding year. Conclusion: School Health Services was generally poor in public and private primary schools, although the situation was better in the private schools. Urgent attention should be paid to School Health Services in primary schools in Jos.