By Vincent Bwinga (Field Officer)
Head teachers from 22 secondary schools in Chitipa and Karonga have embraced ‘My Health, My Right’ clubs as a way of assisting school going youths to realize and promoting their health rights.
The head teachers arrived at this during the briefing sessions conducted by the Justice and Peace Desk in the two districts on 26th and 29th January, 2018. The briefing meetings targeted head teachers as they are very key to the establishment and sustainability of the clubs.
Following presentations made by the Justice and Peace Desk and the plenary discussion on the same, the head teachers unanimously welcomed the clubs and promised to support them in their schools.
Speaking during the meeting, Gideon Kayira, Head Teacher of Chisasu CDSSS said apart from raising awareness on health rights, the clubs will also encourage young people to participate in issues that affect their health and that of their communities.
Membership to the clubs is limited to 40 learners per school drawn from all the four secondary level classes. In these clubs learners organize performances aimed at raising community awareness on health rights, conduct interface meetings with health personnel to account on their services, visiting hospitals to do charity work, management of stress and anxiety and be linked to the hospitals for health information.
The purpose of creating these clubs in schools is to strengthen youth participation in health governance and to raise awareness on health rights. These clubs are the nurseries of grassroots movement for health and will go a long way in shaping community perception on health governance.
This is part of the health governance project, which the Justice and Peace Desk of the Diocese of Karonga is implementing in Karonga and Chitipa Districts with financial support from Open Society Initiatives for Southern Africa (Osisa).