During the first semester of 2014, NPH Haiti (St. Helene and FWAL campuses) developed a new program called “Health Promotion Through Sports,” thanks to the support of NPH Spain and Consorci Sanitari de Terrassa.
For three weeks a Spanish team comprised of nurses and professional coaches for basketball and soccer, trained 12 local staff to coordinate and execute the project which will be part of the curricula. The result? The children loved it!
School and community centers along with the homes are environments where a child develops through his/her early years; from infant through adolescent. These environments greatly impact and shape behavior, personal and social values.
Sport has a great impact in the mental, physical, psychological and social development, including gender equality. Positive messages and health education through sports allow to overcome stigma and exclusion, promotes team work, self-esteem, critical thinking, leadership and social skills for life. Some of the topics included in the curricula for health through sports are: hygiene, HIV and other infectious diseases, nutrition and healthy habits.
The definition of health promotion, according to the WHO is, “Health promotion is a process of enabling people to increase control over and to improve their health. “
Health education through sports is supported and recognize its impact by international organizations such as WHO, Uniceff, Unesco among others. They all agree that health education through sports is the most effective way to teach and adapt to long term healthy habits and the only way health education can reach the youngest, independently of status, gender and parents’ education level.
Contributed by Pilar Silverman
Medical Director, NPHI