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Tolgos Rolls out 'Health For Life'

THE COUNTIES
By Standard Reporter | December 29th 2014

A new health programme is being pioneered in Elgeyo Marakwet schools which aims to enable students realise their full potential.

Governor Alex Tolgos who has given the project dubbed 'Health For Life' his full support said it will focus mainly on extracurricular activities.

Mr Tolgos said pressure for excellent results had made teachers to focus on academic performance, leaving out extracurricular activities.

"There has been a lapse in sporting activities in our schools, unlike in the past when it was common for kids to engage in sports," said the governor at the county headquarters in Iten.

The governor said they were given a go-ahead after the county presented a proposal to the Education Permanent Secretary in Nairobi to roll out the programme, with a view to including it in the national curriculum.

Generally, the programme aims to promote widespread student understanding, critical analysis and support for sustainable development goals to prevent avoidable health problems.

NEW ATTENTION

"Health For Life is a youth-driven project aimed at preparing Kenyan youth to face the health challenges of the 21st century by empowering them to take charge of their own mental and physical health," added the governor.

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He said the project is attracting considerable attention and support because it aligns with Kenya's Health Policy 2012-2030, Kenya's Vision 2030 and Global Health Commitments.

Canada undertakes a similar programme while its introduction in Kenya is tailored to be county-specific, according to Health for Life programme manager Sharon Koimett.

During its launch in July this year, more than 130,000 students from Elgeyo Marakwet registered to participate in the programme.

Topics covered include regular physical activities, nutrition, exercise, personal hygiene and sanitation, self-esteem, diseases and social issues.

The project was initiated by Eliana Field-Marsham, a Canadian student with Kenyan roots. Last year, with assistance from fellow students, Eliana taught the courses at three schools in Nairobi, Coast and Rift Valley Provinces.

The team has expanded to include university students from the US, UK and Kenya, as well as Kenyatta University professors and researchers.

Others who have endorsed the programme include athletics legend Prof Mike Boit, Nutritionist Dr Festus Kiplamai, a lecturer in exercise science and a lifestyle diseases interventionist Dr Gitahi Theuri.

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