Commemorating the 30th anniversary of the landmark Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Health and Family Planning Commission of the People’s Republic of China co-organized the 9th Global Conference on Health Promotion in Shanghai from 21-24 November 2016. More than 1200 ministers, government officials, mayors and experts from 120 countries discussed the future of health promotion in the era of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The GIZ Regional Fit for School Programme was invited to share its concept of integrated Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and School Health as part of a session highlighting the relevance of WASH for the achievement of the SDGs.
“The prominent recognition of WASH in the SDGs is testimony to renewed international commitment to address determinants of health and to improve health equity, especially for vulnerable and less advantaged populations, including all children. Nobody should be deprived of the basic need and rights to water, sanitation and hygiene. WASH in school will synergize cross-sectoral efforts and promote health literacy in the school setting”, said Dr Suvajee Good, Programme Coordinator for Health Promotion and Social Determinants of Health of the WHO South-East Asia Regional Office in New Delhi, India.
The conference adopted the Shanghai Declaration on Promoting Health in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which focuses on cities and municipalities and their responsibility to provide healthy environments. “The Fit for School concept takes the Ottawa Charter’s settings approach of health promotion to a new and innovative level by promoting education sector leadership, integration in school-based management processes and good governance” said Dr Habib Benzian, Adjunct Professor for Epidemiology & Health Promotion at New York University and Senior Consultant to the GIZ programme in his presentation. “WASH in Schools is an essential prerequisite and starting point for other health promoting activities, such as school health interventions or school feeding programmes.”
With more than three million Southeast Asian children reached by programmes based on the Fit for School approach, the concept and its principles of simplicity, scalability, sustainability and system thinking are widely recognized. “The next frontier will be to improve monitoring and reporting against the SDG WASH in Schools targets, using national Education Management Information Systems (EMIS)”, Benzian added. “This will provide momentum and motivation for governments and development partners to scale up coverage, thus fostering healthy, inclusive learning environments that offer basic WASH services to all children.”
More information on the 9th Global Conference on Health Promotion: http://healthpromotion2016.org/en/index.html
More information about the GIZ Regional Fit for School Programme: http://www.fitforschool.international