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Education For All: Thematic Study on School Health and Nutrition

From the executive summary: "In March 1990, world leaders gathered in Jomtien, Thailand, for the World Conference on Education for All (EFA): Meeting Basic Learning Needs. Rather than focus on the traditional issues of how to provide school buildings, textbooks, and teachers, they decided to address the process of learning and the needs of learners. Health and nutrition were included as important contributors to the success of the learner and the learning process. This study reviews the major activities that have taken place in the field of school health and nutrition around the world since Jomtien and suggests actions for the decade to come. As many studies show, education and health are inseparable: nutritional deficiencies, helminth infections and malaria affect school participation and learning. Violence, unintentional injuries, suicidal tendencies and related behaviours, such as the use of alcohol and other drugs, interfere with the learning process. Sexual behaviours, especially unprotected sex that results in HIV infection, other sexually transmitted diseases, and unwanted or too-early pregnancies, affect the participation of students and teachers in education. Most important, many of these issues can be addressed effectively through health, hygiene, and nutrition policies and programmes for students and staff. The information presented in this study is essential to policy and decision-makers who are committed to achieving EFA because the link between learning and health clearly shows that it is unlikely that EFA can achieve its goals without significant improvements in the health of students and teachers community."