|The two channels of School Health Programme|
|The School Health Programme rolled out in the State from July ‘09 as a unique joint venture of the Departments of Health, Education, Sports, Council and Local Self Government aims to introduce a unique concept of a comprehensive Health card, the ‘School TC & Health Record’, for every student. The medical details and personal details which have bearing upon the child’s health will be recorded in this Health Record named “Minus 2 to Plus 2”. This Health Record will serve as a comprehensive document of each student as the Transfer Certificate and Conduct Certificate are also incorporated into it. Junior Public Health Nurses @ one for 2,500 students will be especially recruited and specifically trained to attend to the health of the school goers. The benefits of the School Health Programme will be extended to approximately 9.50 lakh students, both from Government and aided sectors, in 992 schools across the State (one school representing every Panchayat/ Municipality and 2-3 in the Corporation area) during the first phase. Comprehensive health services including the services of specialist Doctors on fixed days are planned as a part of this programme|
The health of a nation means more than just the health of its population. It concerns the planning for the health of its future population. Similarly, health status is not just an assessment of a person at a point in time, but an ongoing and dynamic process. Health of the future generations is primarily moulded by the quality of maternal health and child health. Child health, in turn, is determined by various factors at home, school and on the playground. Of these factors, most of an average child’s wakeful life is spent in school and in academic activities, more than any other place. The school activities expose the child to other children, and to public places, such as streets and buses. This makes the child vulnerable to a set of medical issues, ranging from infectious diseases, food poisoning, psycho-social issues and addictive behaviors, all of which are preventable
School health service in India dates back to 1909, when for the first time, medical examination of school children was carried out in Baroda City, Gujarat. After independence, in the five year plans, many state governments have provided school health and feeding programs to the students. But, efforts to improve school health have not been up to our expectations. The reason may be due to the lack of initiative, resource constrains and insufficient facilities.
In Kerala, there was once a district school health team comprising of doctors, nurses, attendants, and so on, under health services department. Gradually the members of this team were redeployed for other duties and the team became almost defunct.
The Redesigned School Health Program in Kerala
The School Health Program is now being redesigned for more benefits for the students, renovated according to the changed times and repackaged in a user friendly manner. This fresh program is undertaken as a joint venture by the Health Services Department, National Rural Health Mission and the Education Department.
The two channels of School Health Programme
Helping the nation build a bright and healthy generation, equipping them to make healthy choices and for planning to maintain a healthy population in the future.
The Main Components the State wide School Health Programme
Growing children are facing stress at different levels, and they bear the brunt of the family issues and interpersonal problems. Members of the family who themselves are under constant stress, often do not spare time to deal with their children’s issues. At schools, they have to face peer pressure and stress related to studies. Above all, the stress of physical growth, especially during the adolescent period requires a sympathetic approach and proper guidance. Counseling may be provided to meet this end.
Documentation is an important part of our program. For any future action related to school health program, we need a good record of the past activities since past is a guide for the future. As part of documentation activities, the “School-TC & Health Record” is introduced by the “Arogyakeralam,” Department of Health and Government of Kerala. The programme is named ‘-2 to +2,’ as it is meant for children from Pre-Primary (LKG) to the Higher Secondary levels (Plus Two).
Vaccination programmes may be taken up, depending on the need of the hour in the future.