Making schools healthy among Burmese migrants in Thailand

Type Journal Article - Health Promotion International
Title Making schools healthy among Burmese migrants in Thailand
Volume 28
Issue 2
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2012
Page numbers 223-232
In Thailand, a health-promoting school (HPS) program is in place nationwide. However, this policy has not covered Burmese migrant schools. Therefore, to ensure the feasibility of the implementation of a HPS program, we conducted evaluations and an intervention on school health in migrant schools in Thailand. We included 44 primary-level schools in the Tak province in 2008. We were able to evaluate the results of the intervention in 43 of 44 schools in the subsequent year. For measurement, we used a comprehensive school-health checklist with five components: ‘personal health and life skills’, ‘healthy school environment’, ‘health and nutrition services’, ‘common disease control and prevention’, ‘school and community partnership’. The checklist contained 59 items; item scores ranged from 0 to 3. We compared the results of the two surveys (performed before and after the intervention) by calculating the mean score of each item. A 1.3-fold increase was seen in the mean of all items measured in the evaluation (from 1.7 to 2.2, n= 43). Out of the five components, the greatest difference was detected in ‘school and community partnership’, which increased from 1.0 to 2.4. Notably, the mean score of item 4 of component 5, ‘clear definition of the roles and responsibilities with the Burmese community’, increased from 0.4 to 2.7. Although further study is necessary to investigate the association between our intervention and the improvements among schools, our school health evaluation and intervention were successfully implemented in Burmese migrant schools.

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