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School Health Services

The School Health Service consists of a team of doctors and nurses who provide monitoring of primary child health and well-being as well as preventive care services in all State and Church Schools in Malta and Gozo.  

The emphasis is on the early detection of developmental, growth, sensory and learning problems as well as physical disorders. To this end, pre-school developmental assessments are carried out before school entry, that is, at pre-Kindergarten level.  These assessments, which are carried out in the parents’ presence, involve taking a medical and family history, conducting a language, physical and social development assessment, height and weight measurement, as well as checking of vaccination records.

Throughout the school terms, the school doctors and nurses carry out a number of procedures. These include:

  • re-checking and updating of vaccination records of all Year 1 students
  • vision screening for Year 1, Year 3 and Year 6 students
  • testing for colour-blindness in year 6 students 
  • evaluation and reviews of questionnaires which are sent to all parents of children in Year 3
  • checking of vaccination records and TB screening of all non-Maltese students
  • screening for scoliosis in  Year 6 (for girls only) & Year 8 (for girls & boys),  and 
  • the administration of Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio vaccine (booster) to Year 10 students along with an MMR catch up campaign running in parallel. 

The team also collects and inputs the data for the World Health Organisation COSI (Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative) Survey, which is  carried out every 3 years in 32 countries including Malta.

The School Health Service strives for continuity of care for all school children and supports a multidisciplinary team approach in primary child health care. 

Health screening programmes in Malta and Gozo are run from the age of 6 weeks at Well Baby Clinics and these are continued at specified ages up to 11 years of age in schools, using the same online electronic record system. 

Moreover, School Health Service has dovetailed with other Primary Health Care services so as to provide continuity and seamlessness in care provision. 

The team works in close collaboration with the National Immunisation Service through regular updating and inputting of vaccines in the central national immunisation database, administration of some vaccination in schools & catch up campaigns for missed vaccinations. 

In addition, school doctors and nurses participate during CDAU multi-disciplinary case conferences by providing updated clinical observations of the children being assessed at CDAU. 

One of the school nurses also assists in the clinical sessions with the Consultant Paediatrician at Appoġġ. 

The SHS team also manages and runs the Scoliosis Review Clinic in Floriana Health Centre, aimed at  monitoring and following up children with mild scoliosis.