School Health Guidelines in South Africa

School Health Guidelines in South Africa
27 May 2019
Your child’s school years are an exciting, wonderful time of learning and exploration. But education isn’t just about expanding their minds: it’s about supporting their health too.

Your child’s health at school

Did you know? Every school in South Africa provides some level of health care services to their pupils. Owing to differing resources, of course, the level of health care services provided differs from school to school, but every registered public school does receive the support through the South African Integrated School Health Care Programme. It’s thanks to this government initiative that your child can and should undergo health-related monitoring and assessment, and be able to access certain health care services, while at school, free of charge. The School Health Care Programme in South Africa includes:

  • On-site vaccination services, including the HPV vaccine.
  • Health screening and assessment services.
  • Counselling and guidance services.
  • Health care referral services.

Your rights and responsibilities as a parent
The Integrated School Health Care Programme supervises and allocates health care resources to educational institutions across the country, enabling school pupils to access health care services for free. As a partnership between the Department of Basic Education and the Department of Health, this programme is vital for ensuring that our country’s children not only attend school, but can do so in a healthy environment. As a parent, of course, you have certain rights and responsibilities. For example, while childhood vaccinations are not considered compulsory in South Africa, they are recommended and, most schools insist upon your child being fully vaccinated before they can join or attend the school. For more information on childhood vaccinations in South Africa, check out these resources:

Your school’s rights and responsibilities
Knowing what your school’s health care policy includes is important. We recommend you enquire at your child’s school about their policies and facilities. Here are some questions you can ask:

  • What is their policy on administering medication?
  • What is their policy on vaccinations and admissions?
  • What facilities for first aid and other emergency medical procedures are available?
  • Are staff trained in first aid?
  • What are the policies around child illness and staying away from school?
  • What safety features do they have on the playground?
  • What are the procedures for fetching children from school?
  • Are there sick room facilities at the school?
  • Is there a school nurse?
  • What security company and emergency services does the school use or subscribe to?
  • How often are safety and security drills conducted at the school?
  • How are health-related topics covered in the curriculum?
  • Does the school offer on-site counselling and guidance services?

LifeDoc Can Help

For guidance and advice on your child’s health, chat to your doctor or clinic sister. Make that appointment, and take your notes using LifeDoc™. LifeDoc ™ can help. LifeDoc ™ helps you take charge of your personal health information, remember medical appointments, and securely stores your personal medical history. Stay up to date with LifeDoc™ on Facebook and Twitter.