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Schools are an important social setting that can be used to improve community health in general and the health of schoolchildren in particular. The Health-Promoting Schools Initiative is one of the measures implemented through joint planning between different sectors to enhance the quality of life of the Omani population. This document outlines the initiative in Oman from 2004 to 2008. It describes the health status of school-age children and the initiative in terms of mechanisms, tools that were used in improving intersectoral action, monitoring and evaluation, and lessons learnt.
In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, the HIV epidemic has been on the rise since 2001. Although the overall HIV prevalence in the region is still low, the rise in new infections has put MENA among the top two regions in the world with the fastest growing HIV epidemic. The rise in the estimated number of people living with HIV in the region presumably is the result of an increased HIV prevalence among key populations at higher risk and a forward transmission of the virus to a larger number of individuals who are generally at lower risk of infection.
The Moroccan AIDS response gave rise to the National Strategic Plan, which now serves as a reference throughout Africa. The National Strategic Plan has contributed to keeping the national seroprevalence at a low level. This document outlines the process of development and the key elements of the plan: sentinel surveillance of HIV; syndromic case management of sexually transmitted infections; social communication in respect to HIV; confidential voluntary HIV counselling and testing; and case management.