School Health Services

  • Sadaf T. Khalid
Keywords: School health service


School health service is defined as ‘a service concerned with the early detection of health and social problems in school children and their subsequent treatment and surveillance’1 or ‘coordinated system that ensures a continuum of care from school to home to community health care provider and back’.2 Historically, the concept of school health services evolved in colonial American era by Benjamin Franklin who advocated a ‘healthful situation’ and promoted the primary subject of physical education in schools. Later, this concept gained major attention as a mean to promote public health and prevent disease after the report of the ‘Sanitary commission of Massachusetts’, headed by Lemuel Shattuck in 1850.3 Soon after Shattuck report, the medical and public health sectors began to recognize the role that schools could play in controlling communicable diseases with their captive audience of children and young people. On realization of school’s role in the prevention of public health problems, in 1995 WHO launched ‘Global School Health initiative’. The aim of this program was to mobilize and strengthen health promotion and education activities at the local, national, regional and global levels4. This initiative was designed to improve the health of students, school personnel, families and other members of the community through ‘health promoting schools’.5