Durban: Health Systems Trust, 2014. 14 p.
South African Health Review 2013/2014, 59-72
School health has received unprecedented attention in South Africa over the past five years and has consequently evolved from relative obscurity into a priority programme on the agendas of both the Department of Health (DoH) and of Basic Education (DBE). In the Department of Health, school health is one of three priority streams in the re-engineering of Primary Health Care (PHC). In the Department of Basic Education, progress with school health now forms a regular part of the DBE annual report. This elevated status of school health was marked by the launch of a new Integrated School Health Policy (ISHP) in October 2012, which replaced the first National School Health Policy and Implementation Guidelines of 2003. This chapter examines the past performance and future prospects of the South African school health service, and considers its design and intentions against international models of school health services. The chapter considers the many requirements for effective implementation of the ISHP and posits that, without significant strengthening of the management and leadership infrastructure, the resource base and the staffing, school health implementation will not progress satisfactorily, despite the favourable political and policy reform environment.
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