5 September 2022
A coordinated response to the needs of the learner: How deworming and school meals together will contribute to the global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic
Over 65 countries have committed to the School Meals Coalition, established at the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit, with the specific goals of restoring national school meals and complementary school health programs to pre-pandemic coverage by 2023. t is critical for public health actors to utilize schools to implement public health initiatives to reach large numbers of children and ensure these students can effectively participate in school as healthy learners. As such, school-based MDAs are an example of cross-sector collaboration that responds to the needs of the learner (21, 26). School-based deworming programs, when combined with activities to reinforce WASH infrastructure, health, and hygiene education (27–29), have the compound benefit of bridging gendered education disparities, particularly as girls reach the age of menstruation (30, 31).