Ellen Mensah, Former Director of the School Health and Education Programme (SHEP), Government of Ghana and colleagues worked on the development of the SHEP Policy during the 2009/10 SHN training courses.  

In the years that followed, the policy integrated the Focusing Resources on Effective School Health (FRESH) Framework into all aspects of SHEP delivery, which in effect, meant school health programmes focused on the Framework’s pillars of health related school policies, safe water and sanitation, skills based health education and access to health and nutrition services could be guided and effectively implemented by the policy.

Speaking about its impact, Ellen said, “Before we created the policy, guidelines for school health had been developed by SHEP’s technical partners but these lacked the consultation of the education sector. The school health programmes had also been limited to focusing predominantly on hygiene issues.
One of the most significant impacts of the SHEP policy was that it coordinated sectors more effectively, and it placed emphasis on mainstreaming activities so that funding was allocated from the national budget to SHN programmes so these programmes could be delivered in a more sustainable way. Before the policy was developed, activities such as deworming children for Neglected Tropical Diseases and HIV education had been carried out by varying organisations who all applied different methods. Now, the policy has brought all the actors together to streamline SHN so more effective programmes have been put in place.”