Taking a Healthy Interest in You
An agency of the Ministry of Health
ISO 9001:2008 Certified

School Wellness Programme

The National Health Fund Schools Wellness Programme is designed as a working tool to reach children in schools. The objective is to enhance children's health and well-being by focusing on three key behaviors that schools will participate in:

  1. Increasing physical activity
  2. Healthy eating
  3. Conducting screening tests for the early detection of chronic illnesses.

A chronic disease is an illness that has a prolonged course, does not resolve spontaneously, and a complete cure is rarely achieved. These diseases include diabetes, heart disease and asthma and they all affect the quality of life of those inflicted, including children.

The High School Screening Programme is for all high school students (grades 7-13). Students are selected based on their own medical and family histories and screening is done by The Heart Foundation of Jamaica and Diabetes Association of Jamaica at the school.

The tests done are - ECG, cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, Haemoglobin and BMI for all selected students. The contracted Agencies are required to give a statistical analysis of the screening done. The school nurse is responsible to follow up with students that present with abnormal results and encourage them to see their doctor and change their lifestyles.

Roles NHF Schools

  • Prepare for distribution:
  • Fliers on "The Importance of Testing"
  • Permission slips to be sent to parents
  • Distribute fliers and permission slips to students for them to take home to their parents.
  • Encourage students to return permission slips
  • Work with NGO to provide screening
  • Provide suitable place eg. auditorium for screening
  • Provide tools for Schools Wellness Clubs
  • Start Schools Wellness Clubs and encourage physicals activity for all students at least once per week.
  • Provide schools with tools (equipment) for use in Wellness Clubs
  • Do follow-up survey for children with undesirable results
  • Schools to assist with follow- up survey for children with undesirable results

Behavioural Objective

  1. To get children to take proactive steps to protect their health and wellness.
  2. To get children to participate in screening test for specific chronic illnesses.
  3. To make parents/wards aware that screening for chronic illnesses is a "healthy" choice