Stemming from a corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative EPOS undertook in 2016 with AWAN - a non-governmental development aid organisation established in 2011 in Yemen and registered with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs – thousands of school-aged children will receive health support services at eight new school clinics opened at the start of this year.
The clinics are an expansion of an existing school health programme (SHP), implemented by AWAN in close coordination with Sana’a Governorate Health Office and Education Health Office and based on a World Health Organisation designed model. The SHP school health clinics support interventions to students at elementary and high school levels, while providing teachers and school administrators with basic first aid training, hygiene supplies, or OTC medicines like analgesics, to dispense under supervision for common complaints. A training course on psychological support during conflict, for social specialists, was also created.
The impact of school clinics, offering basic yet extremely important interventions along side the promotion of good health practices, is wide-reaching. Yemen has a young population where school pupils constitute around 30% of the population. Schools are considered an important gathering area where health interventions can target both the school population and the wider surrounding communities.
Throughout the country, the need for healthy practices and safety at educational institutions is high and available donor-driven pilots have been sporadic and of intermittent or short durations. By engaging public-private partnerships, EPOS and AWAN have joined together to help local communities overcome initial challenges. AWAN will continue networking with the private sector to ensure continuous supply of first aid medicines and commodities for the clinics.
EPOS project team leader in Yemen, Yaser Alsaleh, and the entire team of national experts and administrative staff working over the past several years on the ongoing 'Support for Effective Stewardship in the Yemeni Health Sector', were instrumental in identifying AWAN and connecting with EPOS' headquarter office in Germany to support the school clinic CSR initiative.
The new clinics, established in schools in Sana’a governorate (Southern suburbs of Sana’a) that were far from health facilities, opened in the following schools at the start of 2017:
1. Moa’th in Bait Baos,
2. Al-Kurshomi in Bait Baos,
3. Al Nasr in Bait Baos
4. Al Aqsa in Artel
5. Al-Hasan in Heziaz,
6. Al-Hamza in Mahakera, and
7. Khawlah.in Heziaz
8. Abdullah Bin Masood in Heziaz