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Reading: Practice of school canteen policy in schools in the district of Rathnapura, Sri Lanka

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Research Papers

Practice of school canteen policy in schools in the district of Rathnapura, Sri Lanka

Authors:

Lalitha Indrani Malwenna ,

National Institute of Health Sciences, Kalutara, LK
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N. K. Chintha Gunarathna,

District General Hospital, Kalutara, LK
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Hemali Nanda Malwenna,

District General Hospital, Kalutara, LK
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Kapila B. Kannangara,

Office of the Provincial Director of Health Services, Sabaragamuwa Province, LK
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C. K. B. Jayawardana,

Office of the Provincial Director of Health Services, Sabaragamuwa Province, LK
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N. B. Gamini,

Office of the Provincial Director of Health Services, Sabaragamuwa Province, LK
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B. A.Thijila Priyanganie

Medical Officer of Health Office, Bandaragama, LK
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Abstract

Background: School canteen policy ensures the safety of food consumed within the school premises in order to maintain nutritional status of children and to facilitate active learning.

 

Objective: To evaluate the practice of school canteen policy in Rathnapura district, Sri Lanka

 

Method: An institution based descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted in all government schools with functioning school canteens in Rathnapura district in Sabaragamuwa province, using a check list and interviewer administered questionnaires by trained health volunteers. Practice of school components of canteen policy was assessed in percentages. Factors associated with better service provision and administration were assessed using chi square test for significance.

 

Results: Among 583 schools in the district, 179 (30.7%) had functioning school canteens, of which 167 participated in the study (93%).  Only 9 (5.4%) schools had less than 200 students. 148 (88.6%) had school health clubs and school food committees. All had school development committees. The PHI had inspected 122 (73.9%) schools while only 25 school canteens (15%) had completed the Grading of Food Handling Establishments forms (H 800).

 

Satisfactory levels were seen in relation to environment & building in 57%, hygiene & sanitation in 82.6%, food storage in 24.6%, food handling in 71.3%, availability of food varieties in 79.6%, food safety activities in 35.3% and knowledge of canteen owners in 25.7% of canteens surveyed.

 

Significant association was seen between practice of school canteen policy and type of school being category AB (p=0.003), school zone being Rathnapura (p=0.001), adherence to administrative criteria by the school administration (p=0.000), knowledge level of the canteen owner being satisfactory (p=0.001), issue of H 800 by PHI to school (p=0.002) and availability of school food committee (p=0.001).

 

Conclusions: Overall, the implementation of school canteen policy is not satisfactory within the district with poor contribution by both health and educational sectors.
How to Cite: Malwenna, L.I., Gunarathna, N.K.C., Malwenna, H.N., Kannangara, K.B., Jayawardana, C.K.B., Gamini, N.B. and Priyanganie, B.A.T., 2020. Practice of school canteen policy in schools in the district of Rathnapura, Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Journal of Medicine, 29(1), pp.10–16. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljm.v29i1.137
Published on 18 Jun 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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