primary prevention
safe schools project

The Safe Schools Project is in its second year of implementation. The project  is being piloted at two schools in the Western Cape Province and seven schools in the Gauteng Province. The Safe Schools Project is a comprehensive approach  to promoting health and safety amongst school-going youth through the prevention,  reduction and control of a significant public health concern, namely violence and injury.

During 2000, the first phase of this project was implemented at all the identified sites in both provinces, with a focus on mapping; accessing; violence and injury surveillance; the implementation of an international public health intervention examining  teenage sexuality and risks for violence and HIV/AIDS; and the implementation of psychosocial interventions such as the TALK TABOO drug intervention and  the RESPECT interpersonal and relational intervention.

Additional primary prevention  work involved the finalisation of the research agenda and an evaluation of the impact of the Love without Violence Project. Further psychosocial interventions in the form of the Primary Prevention of Rape amongst Adolescent Girls also occurred during this period. An initial comparative costing of the RESPECT  and TALK TABOO drug intervention was conducted, resulting in a preliminary cost-effectiveness assessment.

Finally, Safety Teams  have been selected, formed and trained in collaboration with external service  providers at most schools. The current research priorities within the project are:

  • the implementation  of a surveillance system in primary and senior secondary schools across  two provinces;
  • the refinement and  finalisation of these surveillance processes and their incorporation in a manual;
  • a final formative evaluation of the two existing psychosocial interventions together with  the
    costing thereof (i.e. RESPECT and Talk Taboo);
  • a summative evaluation  of the above, together with a cost-benefit analysis using injury costing data;
  • a formative evaluation  and costing of the basic frame of the Safe Schools Project;
  • a summative evaluation  of the effectiveness of Safe Schools Project with regard to injury prevention,  reduction and control, utilising injury surveillance data and additional qualitative methods; and cost-benefit analysis using injury costing data;
  • formative and summative evaluations of injury prevention kits;
  • a comparative analysis  of primary and senior secondary safe school processes, challenges, surveillance  and outcomes;
  • to increasingly locate  the project and Lead Programme as an evaluator of primary and secondary  prevention strategies (e.g. NICRO, WCED, GDE); and
  • to examine and assess safety and health promotion policy and decision-making processes in order to contribute to future policy formulation, implementation and enforcement  processes (i.e. role and impact of surveillance data, costing data and project evaluation data in the research-policy nexus).

Administrator: Mr Ashley van Niekerk
MRC, Tel: +27 21 938-0399

Dr Sandra Marias
Tel: +27 21 938-0216

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