Prevention of gastrointestinal diseases in schools – new communication toolkit

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Schools are ideal settings to encourage hand washing and other good hygiene practices which can contribute to children, staff and others members of the school community learning effective ways to prevent infections.

Schools are ideal settings to encourage hand washing and other good hygiene practices which can contribute to children, staff and others members of the school community learning effective ways to prevent infections. In order to support prevention of gastrointestinal diseases in school settings, ECDC has developed a communication toolkit. This toolkit provides practical information and easily adaptable template materials that health authorities, working together with school authorities and school communities, can use and adapt for implementing preventive measures and developing communication initiatives. 
The toolkit includes a list with key preventive measures, key messages and proposed slogans, as well as visual materials such as images, presentations and posters. It also provides a handbook that introduces key steps that public health authorities can follow in supporting education authorities and school communities in planning, implementing and evaluating activities for gastrointestinal disease prevention.
 
The toolkit materials provide information on the main causes of gastrointestinal diseases, how these are transmitted and what actions different members of the school community can take to enhance their capacities to stay healthy and avoid the spread of disease and outbreaks. The toolkit is a prototype to be used in pilot interventions, and it will be revised and updated based on piloting results. This communication toolkit was developed in support of the ECDC technical report on Prevention of norovirus infection in schools and childcare facilities, which synthesizes current international guideline recommendations and reviews findings related to the prevention and control of gastroenteritis outbreaks in these settings.
 Link: ECDC communication toolkit to support infection prevention in schools – Focus: Gastrointestinal diseases