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Health Status Assessment of Primary School Children for Educational Interventions

School Health Status for Educational Interventions

 

The study involves assessment of Nutritional and Health status of primary school children from 50 selected schools, covering nearly 3200 children in five districts of Andhra Pradesh, namely Visakhapatnam, East Godavari, Kadapa, Medak and Nizamabad. Methodology involves Anthropometric Assessment, estimation of blood hemoglobin from  Dried Blood Spot (DBS) preparation using Cyanmethemoglobin Method, Clinical Examination, of the children for screening of Vitamin A deficiencies and refractive errors, worm load among children. Worm load is being estimated using the semi quantitative Thick Smear Method (wet mount) recommended by the WHO, and Kato Katz Method . These methods require that stool is examined as soon as  possible after collection of samples. Hence, camp laboratories are organized in each village for a period of about three days to examine stool samples collected from the local school. The stool examination process have been standardized according to WHO recommendations for the Kato Katz method, under the supervision of technical experts from the Nizams Institute of Medical Sciences.

The study also elicits information about the hygiene practices among school going children like source of drinking water, footwear practices, hand washing practices, toilet usage practices, which have direct implications on their health status. Alongside, information about facilities in the school like infrastructure, drinking water, history of previous health checkups conducted in the school, observational data on midday meal menu, preparation and serving practices is also generated which helps in correlating the findings to the childís existing health status.

The results of the study which are awaited by the end of September 2009, help to design a cost effective intervention package to address common morbidities among school children like, deworming, iron supplementation coupled with Nutrition and Health Education for the children and their parents. It is expected that these interventions will enable the children improve their cognitive abilities and school performance and can develop into Nationís useful resources. Intermediate and endline assessment of school health status is proposed to evaluate the impact of the interventions.

The study is conducted for the Azim Premji Foundation as part of their existing Educational Intervention in these schools, who are working in partnership with Government of Andhra Pradesh and is funded by the World Bank.

For details please contact the Project coordinator, bsrikanthi@ihs.org.in

 


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