School Health In Latin America: Intersectoral NCD Prevention And Management – Regional Workshop

School Health in Latin America
Dr. Marie Hauerslev, Chair, NCD Child welcoming attendees to day 2 of the workshop
Dr. Marie Hauerslev, Chair, NCD Child welcoming attendees to day 2 of the workshop

On December 14 and 15, NCD Child in partnership with the Healthy Latin America Coalition (CLAS) and the American Heart Association held a two-day regional workshop entitled ‘School Health in Latin America: Intersectoral NCD Prevention and Management’ that focused on strengthening partnerships across the education and health sectors in countries in Latin America. With a mix of plenary presentations and breakout group discussions the workshop provided a forum for focused, regional- and country-level knowledge sharing and collaboration on school health strategies for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Sonja Caffe presenting at day one of the regional workshop.

The theme of the first day focused on the prevention of NCDs and kicked off with a presentation by keynote speaker Dr. Sonja Caffe, Regional Adolescent Health Advisor, PAHO presenting on the promotion of health for schools as a platform in order to reach the Sustainable Development Goals 3 and 4.

Following Dr. Caffe’s presentation was a panel discussion with young health advocates, as well as leading health and education experts from the Latin American region to engage in a dialogue that focused on the topic of advocating for the prevention of NCDs through a whole-school approach

Moderator and panel members included:

  • Ana Larrañaga,  Salud Crítica, Mexico (Moderator)
  • Marco Akerman, School of Public Health – University of São Paulo, Brazil 
  • Jaime Delgado, Ex national congressman and President of the Peruvian Consumer Association, Peru 
  • Ho Mey Ling, Youth leader, Consumer organization, Panama  
  • Esperanza Cerón, Educating Consumers and NCD Coalition, Colombia

Immediately after the plenary session was breakout group discussions that focused on addressing issues major NCD risk factors in the school environment. Breakout groups included topics on sugar-sweetened beverages vs. water, responding to tobacco’s newest products, school food environment, and physical activity.

Professor Didier Jourdan presenting at day two of the regional workshop.

Day two of the regional workshop focused on the management of NCDs with plenary speaker Professor Didier Jourdan, UNESCO Chair and Head, WHO Collaborating Center in Global Health & Education discussing strategies for educational continuity and management of NCDs during the COVID-19.

Similar to day one, a panel discussion took place following the keynote presentation and included young advocates, joined by school and health experts in the Latin American region engaging in a discussion on strategies for educational continuity and management of NCDs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moderator and panel members included:

  • Bruno Helman, IDF/NCD Alliance, Brazil (Moderator)
  • Sean Slade, Senior Director, Global Outreach, ASCD, USA 
  • Carlos Alonso, IPA Mexico, Vice President, ALAPE, Mexico 
  • Mary Guinn Delaney, Regional Advisor, Education for Health and Well Being, UNESCO Regional Office for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean, Chile
  • Tomás Plaza-Reneses, Consultant, World Bank, USA  

Following the plenary session was breakout group discussions that focused on the management of NCDs in the school environment. Groups were divided into country and sub-regions, and included Brazil/Mexico region, Andean region (Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia), Southern Cone region (Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay), and Central America/North America.

Watch day one and two of the regional workshop now, available in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

Read the workshop report now, available in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

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