Prevention is better than cure and early diagnosis and early management is the key to good treatment. It was seen that most of the schools wanted to have the best medical program in their school and parents also always felt that schools should have a good medical support system to tackle medical emergencies. But it was not possible for the school management to manage a comprehensive medical program regularly.
In 2003, Society for Promotion of School Health and Lifestyle Consultancy conceptualised and designed a comprehensive School Health program, which incorporated the recommendation of World Health organisation, UNICEF and the American school health guidelines. The program was named Project “CHILD”. More than 25 doctors of various specialities like Ophthalmology, ENT, Dental, Paediatrics, Gynaecology and Psychology were involved in planning the program. Advice from legal experts was also taken.
Project “CHILD” stands for Child Health Intellectual and Lifestyle Development. The idea was to provide standardised and professional school health program across all the schools. Just as schools follow a standardised study course under one board, for eg CBSE, SEBA, ICSE, in the same way, this program was designed to be a standardised medical program for all schools. In 2003 a comprehensive medical check up in the schools by specialist doctors was started which was followed by counselling on diet, substance abuse, exercise etc.
Project “CHILD”s motto was to become a one-stop program, which would cater to 100% of the medical requirement of the school. The program aimed at shifting the burden of providing a comprehensive medical coverage for the students from the principal to a more professional group so that better medical management could be done in case of any medical emergency in the school.
In the year 2005 project “CHILD”, initiated its drive to improve the school emergency response system. Under this initiative, an equipped ambulance was placed in the school campus for prompt transfer of a sick student. Faculty Higher Secondary School, North Guwahati was the first school in whole of north east where an equipped ambulance was placed in the campus during the normal school hours. With the ambulance in place the next step in emergency management was initiated by taking over the charge of the school infirmary room and placing trained nurse in the infirmary along with required medicines and first aid tools. The nurse was constantly in touch with a group of doctors and all required advice was given to her to manage emergencies.
By 2009, in Guwahati city alone, Project “CHILD” was catering to around 9000 students including Don Bosco School Panbazar. More than 5000 students availed treatment. The student’s health records were recorded in a computerised format.
In 2010, SPSH- Project “CHILD” implemented the modified school health program for 2,80,000 students in the district of Nagaon in collaboration with National Rural Health Mission and Sarva Siksha Abhiyan. The program has been completed successfully with the detection of 64,600 students with various ailments.
In 2011 a very new concept of telemedicine for schools has been initiated. This venture has been done for the first time in India.
With time and support from the school, parents and the program’s constant endeavour to improve, the Assam School Health program would to one of the best school health programs in India. Any suggestion and advice from well wisher, parents, teachers, school authority may be e-mailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org.