UNESCO Chair Global Health and Education Health Education, Prevention, Health Promotion, Children and Young People

27 June 2024 – Intersectoral working in schools between education staff and primary healthcare professionals


Munira Gunja (USA), is senior researcher in the Commonwealth Fund’s International Program in Health Policy and Practice Innovations. Through her research, Munira has been featured in major news outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, and U.S. News. Previously, Munira worked with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), where she had been a key data analyst on ASPE’s tracking and analysis of the effects of the Affordable Care Act. Her findings and analyses have been published in top journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association. 

Roberto Tadeu Iaochite is an Associate Professor at the Department of Education, São Paulo State University – UNESP in Brazil. He is a researcher with extensive experience in Physical Education Teacher Education. He leads the Research Group on Social Cognitive Theory and Educational Practices, and his research focuses on teacher self-efficacy, professional development, and healthy school environments. He participated actively in the Consortium of partners about the safe reopening of schools during the COVID-19 pandemic, a project lead by the UNESCO Chair on Global Health & Education. Recently, Roberto has been a visiting researcher at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1. He is a member of the School for Health in Europe Network Foundation (SHE) Research Group.

Nicola Gray is the Chair holder of the UNESCO Chair on Global Health & Education. She is a Reader at the University of Huddersfield, United Kingdom. Registered as a pharmacist in 1991, she has worked in hospital, community and academic pharmacy. She is a Trustee of the UK Association for Young People’s Health and Vice-President for Europe of the International Association for Adolescent Health. Nicola was also a Governing Council Member of the global coalition NCD Child, and chaired their Task Force on Essential Medicines and Equipment. She has published a number of papers and opinion pieces regarding the safe reopening of schools during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the challenges for children and young people living with a long-term condition.

Laura Buckley is a primary care network pharmacist based in East Yorkshire, England. She is also the Lead for Primary Care for the Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists and a regional ambassador for the Primary Care Pharmacy Association (PCPA). Laura developed a keen interest in teaching in local schools while working as a community pharmacist and has continued her passion to visit local schools during her career in primary care. She is passionate about patient-centred care and equity of health education for all

Nolwenn Violon is a special needs teacher. Coordinator of a Unité Localisée d’Inclusion Scolaire (local school inclusion unit) for children with disabilities. France

Simonetta Lingua, is the Piedmont regional expert on the health program Health Promoting Schools, based in DoRS, a documentation centre for health promotion in the Piedmont Region. She has been working in the areas of Health promoting Schools and young people’s health and teachers well-being for more than 20 years. In her role as Regional expert she leads the implementation and dissemination of the culture and practice of prevention and health promotion and promotes the whole school approach in Health promotion through research, training and consultancy on health education and promotion issues.


Goof Buijs, is the manager of UNESCO Chair / WHO Collaborating Centre Global Health & Education. From 2019 he is director of Global Health & Education Consultancy. His field of expertise is bringing health and education together. He is an experienced networker, expert in creating and leading international projects focused on prevention and youth, innovator, trainer and facilitator of events and conferences. He supports cooperation among people, focusing on everyone’s talents and uniqueness.


The pandemic has highlighted the importance of the relationship between health and education, and the need to increase schools’ resilience for any future health crises. Each student has to be equipped with a range of everyday skills to make independent and responsible decisions about their own health, which includes effective use of primary healthcare systems, and to live as a ‘good health citizen’ when the situation demands social public health strategies. Primary healthcare professionals could have key roles including advocacy in communities for school health, and capacity-building among teachers for delivering health-related curriculum material. 

Supported by the Commonwealth Fund of New York City, the UNESCO Chair Global Health & Education launched a call for good practices with the objective of strengthening our collective understanding of effective intersectoral working between health and education professionals in – and for – schools. This webinar will present the results of this call and particularly the diversity of the intersectoral collaborations in schools between education staff and primary healthcare professionals.

Three speakers will present their intersectoral collaboration and address the following questions:

  • Who are the key allies who need to be mobilised to facilitate collaboration between health and education professionals in schools?
  • What were the main barriers and facilitators to intersectoral working?
  • Do you think that your interventions have had a transformative effect on current practices in your countries?
  • What advice would you give to others who would like to do a similar initiative?

Our speakers’ contributions :

Laura Buckley

To consult the case study : A Pharmacist in Schools 

Nolwenn Violon

Simonetta Lingua

Roberto Tadeu Iaochite

Munira Gunja