WITH THE increasing incidence of diabetes among children, the Gujarat government has decided to undertake screening and medication for this disease in the School Health Programme (SHP) for the year 2015-2016, launched by Chief Minister Anandiben Patel on Monday.
Also, this year, epilepsy has been added in the existing list of over 20 health related issues, including major surgeries like cleft lip and clubfoot along with transplants like kidney, liver, and cochlear. This drive will cover over 1.56 crore children in the age group of 0-18 years. Further, more stress would be laid on the mental health programme that has been included in the SHP from the year 2014-2015.
“A 22-year-old educated girl who was earning nearly Rs 15,000-20,000 salary came to me with her mother for help. When asked she shared that she wanted to get married but no boy was ready to marry her. The reason being that she was born with a cleft lip. At that point we decided to offer treatment for cleft lip and palate among children and even grown-ups,” Patel shared during the launch of SHP in Gandhinagar Monday. Since June, 655 cleft lip and palate surgeries have been done.
The CM also stressed on the need to spread awareness among parents and teachers towards various medical treatments offered free of cost to children and mothers.
As per the latest health department figures, an estimated number of 4,000-5,000 children are suffering from diabetes type I in 12-13 years of age group. The programme will cover awareness, screening and distribution of insulin kits among children detected with diabetes .
“For the aggressive implementation of type I diabetes being a genetic disease which needs a life-long support system and the mental health programme where a lot of work is needed to be done right from scratch, a team of over 4 lakh health experts, including teachers will be roped in, this year. This includes more than 1,600 AYUSH doctors as well this time, focussing only on the mental health programme,” confirmed health commissioner J P Gupta.
“Creating awareness among parents for both diabetes and epilepsy is an important aspect of SHP,” said the state co-ordinator of SHP Dr Shailesh Sutaria.