Govt launches ‘4D’ approach to ensure children’s health

The health drive will cover over 1.57 crore children

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Published:June 20, 2016 8:38 am

With already a massive coverage of over 1.57 crore children and inclusion of majority of super-speciality services under the state’s ‘School Health Programme’, now the state government plans to have a better co-ordination among different departments — women and child development (WCD), education and health — involved with an elaborate ‘4D’ approach.

Also, in addition to over 42 lakh anganwadi children nearly 60,000 children not enrolled to schools will also be covered under the SHP. Over 86.5 lakh government and private primary school children, over 25.6 lakh secondary school children and 1.7 lakh children under other institutes will be a part of SHP.

Nearly doubling the number of diseases under SHP, the 30-point module of different medical conditions are to be categorised as – birth defects (9), deficiency (5), diseases (6) and developmental delay (10) which will be dealt accordingly and separately.

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Neural tube defect, down syndrome, cleft lip and palate, club foot, developmental dysplasia of hip, congenital cataract, congenital deafness, congenital heart diseases and retinopathy of prematurity are clubbed under the birth defects that will be diagnosed at anganwadi centres.

The deficiencies, including anaemia and malnutrition, vitamin D deficiency, severe acute malnourished (SAM) and goiter, are to be identified among growing children and treated accordingly.

Skin diseases, infection in ear, rheumatic heart disease, respiratory diseases, dental decay, convulsion or epilepsy are identified under diseases.

The developmental disabilities includes problems in vision and hearing, haemophilia, thalassemia and various cognitive delays.

Among these, over the years data analysis has revealed that majority of the cases are various deficiencies among children which is over 6.5 lakh in number. Further under various deficiencies, over 93 per cent of 6.5 lakh are detected malnutrition and anaemia among children. In response to this, the state that is reeling a pressure to reduce the number of malnutrition among children has initiated various programmes for anganwadi and school children with recent addition of reproductive women too.

The highest number of deficiencies is followed by disabilities and diseases and with least number of birth defects that are diagnosed among newly born in the state.

With time since its launch in 1997 by the state government, various diseases have been added into the programme. Till now, there was no such classification of diseases as these were clubbed under anaemia, worm infestation, dental problems, ophthalmic problem, ENT problems, abdominal problems, skin diseases, obesity, mental stress, respiratory tract infection, neurological problems, orthopedic problems and disabilities.

Super-speciality services under SHP includes cochlear implant, heart diseases, cancer treatment, kidney and liver transplant.

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