The predecessor of the Children's Institute, the Child Health Policy Institute, was involved in the development of a national school health policy since 1997. In 2000, the Child Health Services Programme was commissioned to develop a school health policy for the national Department of Health. The project was conducted through an extensive national participatory process.

Before 1994, school heath services were fragmented, inequitable and inaccessible to the majority of school-going children in South Africa. One of the concerns of the transformed health system was the delivery of equitable health care to children at school, and the development of an appropriate school health policy.

The policy, together with a set of broad implementation guidelines, was completed in 2002. Shortly thereafter the Department of Health approached the Institute to develop a detailed set of implementation guidelines, as well as to undertake a national costing exercise for the implementation of the policy. This work was completed in the first half of 2003 and the national school health policy was launched in July that same year by the national Department of Health.

Further reading

National school health policy and implementation guidelines
National Department of Health, Cluster: Maternal, Child and Women's Health and Nutrition, Sub-directorate: Child Health, June 2002

Report on the national school health policy guidelines workshop
Abrahams E & Shung-King M September 2001

Report on the nine provincial school health policy workshops
Abrahams E & Shung-King M June 2001