PAHO urges the health and education sectors to work together to create healthy schools

Washington, DC, Sept. 13, 2019 (PAHO)—The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is calling on Ministries of Health and Ministries of Education to join forces to improve the health of students and their communities across the Americas as part of the 2019 Wellness Week campaign.

Schools can be spaces where the health of the community, including children and adolescents, is promoted and where students and their communities are enabled to make healthy choices easily.

A health-promoting school not only focuses on encouraging healthy behavior by ensuring healthy eating and physical activity, but more importantly, on creating conditions that are conducive to health These can include facilitating community participation, enabling a healthy physical and social environment, advocating for health policies in schools and working together with different partners within the local community.

“Given that schools can serve as vital drivers for development in their communities, it is imperative that we consider how collaboration with the education sector can help us achieve health for all,” said PAHO Director, Carissa F. Etienne.

“Building healthy schools” is the slogan for this year´s Wellness Week, celebrated from 14-21 September, which seeks to highlight the importance of ensuring access to health for all students..

“We owe it to the students in our Region to make sure they have the healthiest, brightest futures possible,” said Andres de Francisco, Director of PAHO´s Family, Health Promotion and Life Course Department. “By working with schools and communities, we are taking a step towards make this future a reality