GES directs first year students to carry valid NHIS cards
The Ghana Education Service (GES) has directed that all first-year senior high school (SHS) students should carry valid National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) cards
students are also expected to carry along to school, any card, the Director-General of the GES, Prof Kwasi Opoku Amankwa further directed at a press conference in Accra on Monday.
The press conference was to update the media on the Free SHS policy, the double track system and steps being taken to ensure the smooth take the double track system as the Green Track begins the academic year tomorrow September 11, 2018.
The directives are part of an initiative by the GES and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) for all SHS students to go through screening programme beginning this year.
Prof Amankwa explained that the rationale behind the screening exercise was aimed at identifying health problems early for effective management to prevent any adverse effect on learning and also promote healthy lifestyle among students.
He said the package of the screening included history and general physical examination, vision assessment, hearing assessment, oral health screening, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) TB screening, nutrition assessment laboratory examination.
Professor Amankwa said the first round of screening, which began in December 2017 and ended in June 2018 was able to cover 294,256 students from 671 SHSs and appropriate referrals made for those who needed further attention.
Purpose of the screening
"It is expected that all SHS One students will be screened at designated facilities with trained personnel assigned to all schools by the GHS.
"The purpose is to ensure early identification of health problems for prompt management and to prevent transmission of communicable diseases," Professor Amankwa explained.
He, therefore, asked schools to ensure that the students went to those designated facilities to be screened as part of the requirements for admission.
Last year’s health challenges
Recalling what led to the collaboration between the two institutions, Prof Amankwa said following the introduction of the Free SHS last year a lot more students were admitted which led to congestions.
“As a result of that, we had series of discussions with the GHS and we have recently signed . Last year, the GHS staff did examination for about 270,000 of the first years.
“This year, we are going to do it for all of them including those who were not covered. We also have arrangements with them where our infirmaries are going to be set up and they will provide us with health officials to man them,” he explained.
Prof Amankwa said the GHS had also provided a breakdown of schools and the nearest health they could attend for medical attention when the need arose.