|Migrant children in a suburb
34% have iron deficiency anemia (and even more have overall poor nutrition), 10% are nearsighted (but do not have glasses) and, in many places, more than 40% are infected with intestinal worms.
These nutrition and health problems have been shown in China and internationally to adversely affect children's schooling. Anemic children often have trouble concentrating in class, nearsighted children cannot see the lessons written on the chalkboard, and worm infection has been associated with lower cognitive functioning. Unable to gain a solid education, these rural children will become trapped in low-skill jobs, continuing the cycle of poverty.
Feasible, low-cost solutions to these basic health problems exist, but are not being implemented in rural China. REAP's mission is to change this.
|Anemia, poor vision, and intestinal worms are invisible epidemics affecting children|
Our work has already shown the effectiveness of several low-cost health interventions in schools. Through the Best Buy Toolkit project, we aim to determine whether and how multiple interventions can work together to improve the health and academic performance of schoolchildren in rural China. Through a meticulously planned experimental design, we will be able to determine the cost-effectiveness of the Best Buy Toolkit, while also identifying potential obstacles policymakers may encounter during the scaling-up process.
In 2011, REAP hopes to touch the lives of more than 5,000 poor students in rural China by improving their health and educational performance. Beyond 2011, we hope to impact the lives of tens of thousands more students by providing evidence on successful approaches to scaling-up health interventions in hundreds and thousands of additional schools.
In 2011, REAP will launch a comprehensive project to deliver the best buys in basic health to students in 20 rural primary schools in Shaanxi Province, in Northwest China.
REAP will be working with local officials to conduct a baseline survey in all schools. Then, we will administer the Best Buy interventions from the Toolkit:
To gather clear and concrete evidence on how well these approaches work when delivered comprehensively and at how low a cost, we will rigorously evaluate the impacts of this "best buy toolkit" on health and education. We will present the project’s feasibility and results to policymakers capable of expanding the project to thousands of schools.
In this way, REAP hopes to ultimately affect the lives of tens of thousands of students who deserve better health and a greater opportunity to learn. We aim to:
The Best Buy Toolkit Project links REAP to a growing community of non profit groups represented through Transparent Fish Lab, a joint initiative of Beijing Normal Universtiy and the Ping and Amy Chao Foundation. Please click on the link above to learn more about this innovative platform.