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Online pre-conference Genuine Participation and the Transformational Potential of Health Promotion – 10 November 2021

Online pre-conference Genuine Participation and the Transformational Potential of Health Promotion – 10 November 2021

Join the preconference Genuine Participation and the Transformational Potential of Health Promotion – Coronavirus Politics on 10 November 2021 from 9.00 CET. The focus of this pre-conference is to open new perspectives on genuine participation as a means to highlight the transformational potential of Health Promotion. By shifting participation as a mantra to participation as a practice this pre-conference aims at establishing a stronger focus to inclusion as part of health-for-all-policies. In this session we will explore different perspectives to the future of the transformational potential of health promotion focusing on the global and the national level.

Next to these objectives, we wish to create a space that supports international networking among professionals and researchers interested in advancing participatory community-based public health interventions.

The pre-conference is organized by the EUPHA Health Promotion section, UNESCO Chair Global Health & Education and International Institute, University of Michigan during the 14th European Public Health Conference (Glasgow 10-12 November)

For more information and registration

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Involve children and young people in assessing the impact of school closures on their wellbeing and developing strategies for post-COVID-19 schooling

Involve children and young people in assessing the impact of school closures on their wellbeing and developing strategies for post-COVID-19 schooling

Article published in MDPI on 5 September 2021

Nearly 200 countries have implemented school closures to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Although these closures have seemed necessary, there have been serious concerns about their effects on the well-being of children and adolescents. To truly understand the impact of these closures on children’s and adolescent’s well-being, and their suggestions for the future, it is important to adopt new approaches to collecting data that will ensure the right of children and adolescents to be heard on issues that affect them.

Current methods of assessing the impacts of school closure are dominated by the collection of information about children and adolescents, mainly using existing wellbeing indicators and related questionnaire surveys. While these sources of information are important, they provide only a limited understanding of how children and adolescents have experienced school closure, especially if they have been produced using measures developed solely by adults. There is a need for information produced by children and adolescents themselves, which may need to go beyond existing theoretical frameworks of wellbeing that predate COVID-19.

By gathering information from children and adolescents, the authors of this paper[1] show that we can more effectively guide the development and evaluation of public health policies and identify solutions to mitigate the negative impacts of school closures, or to recognise and respond to any positive effects.

Read the article

[1] Paakkari, L., Jourdan, D., Inchley, J., & Torppa, M. (2021). The Impact of School Closure on Adolescents’ Wellbeing, and Steps toward to a New Normal : The Need for an Assessment Tool Update? Adolescents1(3), 360‑362. https://doi.org/10.3390/adolescents1030027

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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

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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

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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

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Schooling during COVID-19: recommendations from the European Technical Advisory Group for schooling during COVID-19

Schooling during COVID-19: recommendations from the European Technical Advisory Group for schooling during COVID-19

Recently the recommendations from the WHO European Region Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on Schooling during the COVID-19 pandemic were published. The recommendations represent the work of the TAG between October 2020 and March 2021.

The recommendations were considered at a WHO ministerial meeting on 8 December 2020, after which they were reviewed and updated. The recommendations are endorsed by the TAG to represent the best available evidence and expert advice on safe schooling. Didier Jourdan, chairholder of the UNESCO Chair Global Health & Education was a member of the TAG.

The TAG has formulated recommendations of the following eight key issues:

  1. Keeping schools open is a key objective
  2. Testing strategy in the school setting
  3. Effectiveness of applied risk-mitigation measures on infection control
  4. Educational outcomes, mental and social well-being
  5. Children in vulnerable situations
  6. Changes in the school environment that are likely to be of overall benefit to infection control AND child health
  7. Children’s and adolescents’ involvement in decision making
  8. Vaccination strategies with the purpose of maintaining education as a societal good

Read the recommendations

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The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health – Podcast

The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health – Podcast

In Conversation With… Didier Jourdan & Nicola Gray

Didier Jourdan & Nicola Gray join The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health Editor-in-chief Jane Godsland to discuss how and why child health professionals should be supporting schools to become the foundation of a healthy life.

Didier Jourdan & Nicola Gray are the lead authors of the viewpoint “Supporting every school to become a foundation for healthy lives” which was published in the Lancet on Friday 22 January 2021

Listen to the podcast

Read the viewpoint article

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Soft launch: ‘Using the revised International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education to steer CSE policy and programmes’

Soft launch: ‘Using the revised International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education to steer CSE policy and programmes’

On Wednesday 9 December 2020 at 9.00 am New York time and 3.00 pm Paris time UNESCO and UNFPA will organise the soft launch of the Global Partnership Forum on Comprehensive Sexuality Education. The dialogue will be held in English.

The webinar will be opened by Vibeke Jensen, UNESCO and Benoit Kalasa, UNFPA. Patricia Machawira, UNESCO East and Southern Africa Regional Office, Maria Bakaroudis, UNFPA East and Southern Africa Regional Office, Maki Akiyama, UNFPA Asia-Pacific Regional Office, Jessie Freeman, Plan International and Jona Turalde, IPPF youth advocate, Philippines will be part of the panel. This soft launch will be the first in a series of online dialogues to launch and establish the Forum and enable participants to interact.

The first dialogue will deepen how the revised International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education, and the principles contained therein, have been applied as well as some good practices. It is also an opportunity for participants to exchange views on the expectations and the development of the Forum as a community of practice.

For registration click here

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Video Webinar: School issues in children during COVID-19

Video Webinar: School issues in children during COVID-19

Watch the video of the Webinar on School issues in children during COVID-19 organized by the International Pediatric Association (IPA), UNICEF and WHO.

On 2 November, IPA, UNICEF and WHO organised a webinar in French on “School issues in children during COVID-19”. The invited experts spoke about the difficulties of the child in school during the COVID-19 pandemic. They highlighted the significant impact on schoolchildren in terms of learning, loss of opportunities but also the consequences on dropping out of school. This webinar wished to return to the issues in order to better guide professionals towards a successful return to school by following the recommendations.

Pr. Rachida Boukari from the University of Alger, host and moderator of this webinar, was surrounded by experts:

  • Didier Jourdan, holder of the UNESCO Chair Global Health & Education presented “Data from a study of professionals from 42 countries on the process of reopening schools”
  • Mbola Mbassi, Doctor and public health expert at national and international level spoke of the “WHO School Health Services Guidelines for COVID-19”
  • Joseph Haddad, Professor of Pediatrics and Neonatology at Saint George Beirut University Hospital, Lebanon raised “The challenges of Education and Disability in children and COVID-19”.

Pr. Didier Jourdan recalled the interest of this survey which was to collect the points of view of professionals in the field, testimonies from the field on the possible reopening of schools in different countries, and on the successes and difficulties encountered in reopening schools.

In his review of the “WHO School Health Services Guidelines for COVID-19” Dr. Symplice Mbola Mbassi mentioned that schools have been closed in over 190 countries, reaching 90% of the global student population. He added that school closures have exposed children to more anxiety, depression, violence, physical inactivity, poor diet, loss of learning, sedentary lifestyle and increased screen time but also for parents an increase in unmet childcare needs. Dr. Symplice Mbola Mbassi pointed out that schools are places of protection, of learning opportunities. They provide social protection, nutrition, physical activity but also emotional support.

Finally, Pr. Joseph Haddad talked about “The challenges of education and disability in children and COVID-19”. He emphasized the importance of a comprehensive approach to the care of children with disabilities that ensures dignity, based on the rights and needs of these children. The rights of these children are the same as to others, such as the right to education, medical care, rehabilitation, social support and social integration.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJHqv-vlia0

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Webinar 18 November: Neoliberal globalization and migrant children’s right to health in Latin America

Webinar 18 November: Neoliberal globalization and migrant children’s right to health in Latin America

On 18 November 2020, 16.30 – 17.30 CET, 11.30 – 12.30 AST the UNESCO Chair and WHO Collaborating Center Global Health & Education and the  University of Puerto Rico will organise the webinar: Neoliberal globalization and migrant children’s right to health in Latin America. The webinar will be held in Spanish.

Speakers from Puerto Rico and El Salvador will present a brief analysis of how globalization, through neoliberal policies, has worsened the living conditions of Latin American children, expelling them massively from their territories in search of survival strategies. Furthermore, the speakers will share with the audience the current state of migrant children in the region and the challenges that arise in the countries of origin, transit and destination to guarantee the right to health of this population.

During this webinar the experts will answer these questions :

  1. How has neoliberal globalization exacerbated migration processes in the Latin American region, particularly among women and children? (Dr. M. Rivera, Puerto Rico)
  2. What is the status of migrant children in the region? (Dr. M. Rivera, Puerto Rico and Dr. A. Hernández, El Salvador).
  3. What challenges do migrant children in the region face in terms of the right to health? (Dr. A. Hernández, El Salvador)

To participate: Zoom link.

This webinar will also be broadcast live on our YouTube channel

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