Back in high school we had a sick bay, besides it being a place for recovery and health care for students, it was a perfect hide out from those boring lessons to some students. All you needed to do was to change the tone of speech, the walking speed and definitely make the eyes appear sunken, with that you were an eligible patient for the sick bay and a free cold drink for you on your visit. Besides that the sick bay was a place where you could get all the healthy services –counsel and guidance, treatment, aid and care among others.
We had an awesome nurse; I don’t know if she is still there in that school, well the sick bay nurse had a tender loving top class care for all the students, she was this kind of person you could easily love and trust with all your information, she could talk to you like a friend and love you like a parent and care for you as grandparent. No wonder why the sick bay was the most loved placed in the entire school before the kitchen area. The nurse made life in school comfortable and a safe.
There is a day we had gone for a seminar in another school and temperatures were so high in the afternoon in those last minutes towards lunch, a girl was on the podium discussing a certain modern physics number at some point she lost focus and in just a flash she fainted, the whole congregation dazed, the teacher in charge hurried to the stage checked her pulse and it was on point. One of the teachers we had gone with asked “where is the sick bay? She needs immediate attention and care” the teacher from the host school boldly said “we don’t have a sick bay!”
In that moment, I believed a lot of questions flooded our teacher’s mind –why don’t you have a sick bay? Are the students safe? Where do your students get healthy care counsel and guidance? In case of an emergency like this, what happens? Nevertheless, he didn’t ask any. One of the teachers of host school suggested they take her to the shade and let her rest of a while, of course we were all eager to know what was going to happen to her, as they carried her out, we the spectators turned and saw her being laid on a mat in a shade under a tree. A friend of mine who believed I knew everything asked “don’t they have a school nurse like ours and a sick bay” studying the moment carefully I replied boldly “No, they don’t!” I turned and looked at the pool girl and added “Why should a perfect candidate for a sick bay like her be laid under a shade?”
Fast forward the girl managed to gain her conscience after lunch and she was given some water and the seminar proceeded. But in a school of this setting (without a sick bay and a school nurse) in case of an emergency no student is safe. Many schools around the country are customized to this default setting, no?
Well schools in this category do believe that the most important thing why students are at school is studying and learning, that’s all and we don’t blame them, okay partly let’s blame them. But now, who should we blame fully? The parents, not at all! The students for falling sick, let’s not even think of that. Well there is only one option left; the government, right? I do believe that the legislative part of the government of Uganda can create or mend a law where it is mandatory for every school to have a health care centre as it is to for a centre number. I know every life counts and I want to appreciate Reproductive Health Uganda for the current ongoing campaign where it commits to speak out for Uganda School Health Policy.