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Research on School Health in Niger

Niger is the world’s poorest country and faces an extremely difficult situation economically and environmentally. The Department of Global Health has conducted joint research with the JICA Human Development Department and Niger Office on how to extend school health in a country where there are extreme issues in terms of infrastructure development and access. The Japan Consortium for Global School Health Research introduced a comprehensive school health self-assessment system, which has been extended throughout Asia, to West African Centre for International Parasite Control (WACIPAC is under the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research). The Niger Ministry of Education, in cooperation with JICA, prepared simplified and improved guidelines focusing on the environment and distributed them nationwide. It was found that neighborhood association support for schools clearly improved school health plans and budgeting. Together with the counterpart Niger Ministry of Education, consideration is continuing to be given jointly to what can be done in these difficult conditions to improve strategies for school health as well as evaluation and research on such activities.