The Greater Mekong sub-Regional Workshop on Strengthening the Education Sector Response to School Health, Nutrition (SHN) and HIV&AIDS Programmes took place from the 5th to the 9th March 2007, in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Hosted by the Kingdom of Cambodia, through its Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, the Workshop brought together 113 participants from 6 countries, namely; Cambodia, China (Yunnan Province, herein referred to as China), Lao People's Democratic Republic (PDR), Thailand and Vietnam, and an observer team from Bhutan, including representatives from 20 country and Regional level Civil Society organizations and Development Partners. The Workshop provided an excellent opportunity for practitioners to share experiences and to learn from existing good practice within the sub-Region. Additionally, all country teams and Development Partners recognized the need to harmonize SHN and HIV&AIDS prevention activities and to better align assistance in order to: promote a more systematic and comprehensive response; reduce transaction costs; and increase the efficiency of the allocation of resources. The overall aim being to develop systematic strategies to sustainable integrate and scale up SHN programs within the education sector, with a particular emphasis on strong HIV prevention activities. Using the FRESH (Focusing Resources on Effective School Health) Framework, traditional and contemporary health and nutrition issues that affect the learning and educational outcomes of schoolage children were discussed and prioritized within the four pillars of the FRESH framework, namely: Development of health-related school policies (including those that address HIV&AIDS issues, and gender); Promotion of a safe and supportive school environment (including access to safe water, adequate sanitation and a healthy psychosocial environment); Skills based health education (including curriculum development, life skills training, teaching and learning materials); Schools-based health and nutrition services (including deworming, micronutrient supplementation, school feeding, malaria treatment/referral and psychosocial counselling). The three key outputs of the Workshop were: Country specific response plans- all countries revisited and enriched their national education sector plans with strengthened SHN and HIV&AIDS components; Development of a sub-Regional Sourcebook of Good Practice - it was agreed by all participating countries and Development Partners that, a comprehensive sourcebook documenting existing examples of good practice in the sub-Region will be produced; Request for the formation of a South East Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO)/Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) sub-Regional Network - in order to maintain current momentum and to build on the recommendations of the Workshop, all countries and Development Partners recommended the formation of a network to provide a framework for consultation, exchange and sharing of experiences among actors in the field of SHN and HIV&AIDS.
Ministry of Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS)
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