Didier

COVID-19 in children and the role of school settings in transmission – second update

COVID-19 in children and the role of school settings in transmission – second update

ECDC has recently published the report ‘COVID-19 in children and the role of school settings in transmission – second update’, which revises our current understanding of the role that children play in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, and the role of schools in the COVID-19 pandemic.

The aim of this document is to provide an update on the knowledge surrounding the role of children in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and the role of schools in the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing in particular on the experience in EU/EEA countries since the beginning of the pandemic.

Children of all ages are susceptible to COVID-19 and can transmit the disease. However, cases of COVID-19 in younger children do not appear to cause onward transmission as often as cases in older children and adults. Children aged between one and 18 years of age have much lower rates of hospitalisation and severe disease requiring intensive hospital care than other age groups.

Although school closures could contribute to a reduction in COVID-19 transmission as a measure of last resort, the closures in themselves are insufficient to prevent community transmission in the absence of other non-pharmaceutical interventions. Moreover, vaccination coverage is now also increasing. Given the continued risk of transmission among unvaccinated children, it is imperative that there is a high level of preparedness in educational systems for the school year 2021−2022.

By the time schools reopen for the new school year, children and adolescents will have become the age groups with the lowest rates of COVID-19 vaccination coverage in the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA). Therefore, in the absence of strict adherence to effective public health mitigation measures, concentrated circulation of COVID-19 is to be expected, including outbreaks in this age group.

For more information and access to the full report

Posted by Didier in News
Third High-level Meeting on Schooling during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Third High-level Meeting on Schooling during the COVID-19 Pandemic

On 2 July 2021, the Third High-level Meeting on Schooling during the COVID-19 Pandemic was held, organized by WHO/Europe, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The WHO European Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on schooling during the COVID-19 pandemic shared new recommendations with the best available evidence and expert advice on safe schooling during the pandemic.

Schooling and COVID-19

COVID-19 has disrupted schooling for millions of children and young people during the school year 2020–2021. After reopening schools in the autumn of 2020, rising infection rates in winter led to more stringent measures, including, in some areas, the closure of schools.

These measures have serious effects on the education, development, and social and mental well-being of children and adolescents – both in the short- and long-term. Children and adolescents in the WHO European Region have missed on average more than 30 weeks of schooling due to school closures.

This third high-level meeting followed previous meetings held in August and December 2020, and presented an updated version of the TAG recommendations, including updates on how to keep schools open, testing strategies in school settings, risk-mitigation measures and infection control, and vaccination strategies, among others.

In addition to sharing the updated recommendations, the meeting was meant to support countries in planning measures over the summer months, so as to minimize school disruptions in the academic year 2021–2022.

As a member of the TAG, Prof. Didier Jourdan contributed to the discussion by presenting the first results of the UNESCO Chair’s global survey on the safe reopening of schools.

More information about the event

Recommendations from the European Technical Advisory Group for schooling during COVID-19 (March 2021)

 

Posted by Didier in News
UNESCO and WHO urge countries to make every school a health-promoting school

UNESCO and WHO urge countries to make every school a health-promoting school

On 22 June 2021 UNESCO and the World Health Organization launched the Global Standards for Health-promoting Schools, a resource package for schools to improve the health and well-being of 1.9 billion school-aged children and adolescents. The closure of many schools around the world during the COVID-19 pandemic has caused severe disruptions to education. An estimated 365 million primary school students went without school meals and significantly increased rates of stress, anxiety and other mental health issues.

Based on a set of eight global standards, the resource package aims to ensure all schools promote life skills, cognitive and socioemotional skills and healthy lifestyles for all learners. These global standards will be piloted in Botswana, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya and Paraguay. The initiative contributes to WHO’s 13th General Program of Work target of ‘1 billion lives made healthier’ by 2023 and the global Education 2030 Agenda coordinated by UNESCO. 

The global standards provide a resource for education systems to help foster health and well-being through stronger governance. UNESCO and WHO will work with governments to enable countries to adapt the package to their specific contexts. The evidence is clear. Comprehensive school health and nutrition programmes in schools have significant impacts among school-aged children.

The Health Promoting Schools approach was first articulated by WHO, UNESCO and UNICEF in 1995 and adopted in over 90 countries and territories. However, few countries have implemented it at scale, and even fewer have effectively adapted their education systems to include health promotion. The new global standards will help countries to integrate health promotion into all schools and boost the health and well-being of their children. 

More information and access to the new resources:

Posted by Didier in News
Survey: How are we using participatory research to learn about children and young people’s perspectives during the COVID 19 pandemic?

Survey: How are we using participatory research to learn about children and young people’s perspectives during the COVID 19 pandemic?

In response to the challenges that COVID-19 has presented to participatory researchers around the world, researchers from the University of Melbourne and University College Dublin prepared a short survey, based on a focus group that was held during the ICPHR Virtual Annual Working Meeting 2020.  

The goal is to promote dialogue and shared learning on how researchers and practitioners are using participatory research to listen to children and young people’s perspectives during the COVID-19 pandemic, and what digital tools may help them facilitate their collaboration with child and young co-researchers.

Participating in this study requires you to answer a short online survey. The survey is available in English and Spanish (you can change the language using the button in the top right corner of the survey).

For more information about this study and to access the online survey, please use the following link: http://go.unimelb.edu.au/fk4i

Posted by Didier in News
Launch of the Global Partnership Forum on Comprehensive Sexuality Education

Launch of the Global Partnership Forum on Comprehensive Sexuality Education

29 June 2021 – 15.00 CEST

UNESCO and UNFPA, co-convenors of the Global Partnership Forum on Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE), are organising a virtual launch event. This formal launch event, before the Generation Equality Forum, aims to highlight the importance of CSE to achieving bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive health and rights. Held during the Generation Equality Forum, the event will see a group of more than 50 member organizations stating their commitments and strengthening the global community on CSE.
Members of the Global Partnership Forum on CSE range from UN and funding agencies, civil society and youth-led organizations, academic institutions and professional networks. Together, they work to make evidence-based, age-appropriate CSE a reality for all children and young people across the world.

Register here

Posted by Didier in News
Making every school a health-promoting school

Making every school a health-promoting school

Virtual meeting organised by WHO and UNESCO – 22 June 2021 13.00 – 14.00 CEST

The health, well-being and education of children and young people are closely intertwined. With a vision that every school around the world becomes a Health-Promoting School (HPS), UNESCO and the World Health Organization (WHO) have developed a joint initiative to support Member States strengthen the health promoting function of education systems. 

This global launch will feature the introduction of the initiative and present a newly-developed guidance package consisting of four publications

  1. Global standards and indicators for health-promoting schools and systems; 
  2. Implementation guidance; 
  3. Country case studies; and
  4. Guideline for school health services. 

Global and country-level stakeholders, including representatives from government and school communities will present their perspectives and experiences in implementing school health and health-promoting school approaches. 

The event will be available in English, French, Arabic and Spanish

Agenda

  • Statements by the Directors General of WHO and UNESCO (TBC)
  • Presentation: Towards global standards for health-promoting schools for all
  • Roundtable 1: Voices from the school community
  • Roundtable 2: Perspectives of national policymakers
  • Roundtable 3: Perspectives of development partners
  • Conclusion and closing remarks

For more information contact: healthpromotion@who.int

To register: https://who.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_2tS0XUbFSra_2-YOJBWNQg

Posted by Didier in News
Article: Co-operation and consistency: a global survey of professionals involved in reopening schools during the COVID-19 pandemic

Article: Co-operation and consistency: a global survey of professionals involved in reopening schools during the COVID-19 pandemic

During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, schools closed in haste and were expected to create virtual learning opportunities for their students while they waited to see when and how they might re-open. National governments issued reopening guidance at varying speeds. The purpose of the study described in this article [1] was to invite health and education professionals to share what was happening in their country about school reopening in terms of the features and implications of the guidance issued. A semi-structured questionnaire was distributed through the global community of UNESCO Chair ‘Global Health and Education’ and partner organisations.

There were 192 useable responses from 43 countries and territories and 1 multi-country region. 20 of these, mainly in the Global North, had received reopening guidance, 23 were still waiting and 1 had not closed its schools. Guidance prioritised public health measures like social distancing, with less emphasis on education impacts. Success came from partnerships between schools, families and local authorities, consistent guidance and enough time and resources for implementation. Fear of infection led to significant absenteeism among students and staff. Respondents waiting for guidance, mainly in the Global South, shared similar concerns and expectations.

Access the full article.


[1] Gray, N.J. and Jourdan, D. (2021), “Co-operation and consistency: a global survey of professionals involved in reopening schools during the COVID-19 pandemic”, Health Education, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/HE-07-2020-0054

Posted by Didier in News
Education provides a path to reduced child mortality, new CHAIN-IHME study finds

Education provides a path to reduced child mortality, new CHAIN-IHME study finds

A comprehensive analysis has found that each year of parental education is associated with lower risks of childhood mortality. Published in The Lancet, the study is the largest to date to examine the relationship between mothers’ and fathers’ education and child mortality on a global scale. “Parental education and inequalities in child mortality: A global systematic review and meta-analysis” was led by the Centre for Global Health Inequalities Research (CHAIN) and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).

Lower education of mothers and fathers was found to be a risk factor for mortality of children under the age of five. The meta-analysis found that each additional year of mothers’ and fathers’ schooling is linked to a reduction in under-5 mortality of 1.6% and 3.0% respectively. Over 12 years of a parent’s education, these effects accumulate to a 17.3% decreased child mortality related to paternal education and a 31% decrease linked to maternal education. To visualise these findings, a factsheet capturing the most important findings of the study was produced by CHAIN and its partner EuroHealthNet. A video was also produced by NTNU.

Education may provide a way to improve the health of future generations and promote sustainable development, based on the study’s findings. The parent-child link between health and education underscores the importance of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all with universal quality education across the life-course. Education is an important determinant of health. The research team calls on leaders to frame investments in education as contributors to better health for all.

Posted by Didier in News
Tools to assess Girl-friendly schools, Comprehensive Sexuality Education and Youth-friendly Health Services

Tools to assess Girl-friendly schools, Comprehensive Sexuality Education and Youth-friendly Health Services

The University of Amsterdam (UvA) in partnership with the Her Choice Programme has developed tools in English and French to assess Girl-friendly Schools (GFS), Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) and Youth-Friendly Health Services (YFHS).The development and evaluation of the use of the tools has been funded through two small grants of Share-Net International. The tools have been implemented in the Her Choice programme countries in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Comprehensive Sexuality Education tool: This tool allows for scoring a CSE intervention along different dimensions with a view to assessing the degree to which an intervention can be considered ‘comprehensive.‘

Girl-friendly school tool: This tool scores different dimensions of schools to assess whether or not they can be considered girl friendly.

Youth-friendly Health Services tool: This tool scores different dimensions of health services to assess whether they can be considered youth friendly.

For more information and to download the tools.

Posted by Didier in News
Global Community Health Annual Workshop – register now

Global Community Health Annual Workshop – register now

The UNESCO Chair and WHO Collaborating Center on Global Health & Education and EHEPS invite all those interested in promoting health and equity at a community level to the first edition of the Global Community Health Annual Workshop that will take place on 6, 7 and 8 July 2021.

The main aim of the workshop is to explore the diverse practices of community health worldwide, learn from them, and apply those newly acquired skills and knowledge to current/future projects. We will have participants from all over the world and welcome all those involved in health promotion, prevention, healthcare and social care services.

The programme will consist of a daily 3-hour main block reserved for lectures, satellite sessions (for discussion in English, French, Spanish or Portuguese) and time for questions. Beside the main block participants will attend two blocks of 2-hour group work sessions.

We are honoured to have some excellent contributors from all over the world, joined by voices from the field and a number of case studies. A preview of the contributors:

  • Professor Didier Jourdan, Chair holder UNESCO Chair and head of the WHO Collaborating Center Global Health & Education, France
  • Professor Yifei Hu, Department of Child and Adolescent health and Maternal Care, School of Public Health, Capital Medical University, China
  • George Arrey, director Health Promotion South Africa Trust, South Africa
  • Viola Cassetti, Public Health Consultant, Spain
  • Dr. David Houeto, Associate Professor, Health Promotion, University of Parakou, Benin

This year’s course will be online and FREE of charge. Participants and tutors will learn from the diversity in community health practices. Active participation will be rewarded with a certificate provided by the UNESCO Chair.

More information and registration

Posted by Didier in News