Department of Community Medicine
Title of Practice:
Health Check-up of students of various academic institutes of Maratha Vidya Prasarak Samaj, Nashik
Objectives of the Practice:
- To screen the school/ college going students for some common health problems
- To diagnose and provide appropriate and adequate treatment for these health conditions
- To provide referral services for complex health problems
- To impart Health education for raising awareness and adoption of healthy lifestyle
- To sensitise and train interns for diagnosis and treatment of common public health problems
Maratha Vidya Prasarak Samaj is one of the oldest and second largest educational institute of Maharashtra. There are over 450 academic institutes (from kindergarten to professional colleges); which impart education to over one lac students. The Community Medicine department of MVP’s Dr. Vasantrao Pawar Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre, Nashik has undertaken the task of regular annual health check-up of these students since more than a decade. Recently, there is incorporation of health check-up of the teaching staff of all institutes too.
The magnitude of the task is very vast owing to the enormous number of students and the wide geographical placements of MVP‟s academic institutes. Hence, it is challenging to complete the task within limited time span and manpower. Monitoring the health of growing children is of paramount importance for healthy adult personality development. Apart from diagnosis of common /rare health problems, it is also essential to educate the students for adopting healthy lifestyle practices like personal hygiene, healthy diet, physical activity, reproductive hygiene, not falling prey to addictions, etc
For systematic implementation of this health check-up activity, three teams are formed, one team each for the academic institutes in urban, rural and peripheral part of Nashik district. Each team comprised of a faculty member from Community Medicine, One Medical Social worker, Interns (6 to 8), and a Record keeper. Structured questionnaires/proforma for school students & college going students were prepared. These proforma include questions pertaining to the health issues of particular age group. E.g. Dental caries/developmental milestones in primary school students; Addictions/Psycho-social history in college going students etc. A target of approximately 50 student’s check-up per intern is kept. So, on an average, 400-500 students are screened on each health-check-up day.
A monthly report of the health check-up activity is prepared with details of gender-wise classification, number of referrals, etc. A yearly report is prepared and forwarded to the higher authorities for information.
Also, the list of students referred for their health problems is forwarded to the head of the respective institute for communicating with the parents of such students.
Feedback is collected from the school teacher representatives regarding the health check-up activity in terms of regularity, punctuality, sincerity, quality. The school authorities provide ample support for this activity in terms of venue arrangement, refreshments, co-ordination of the activity. This activity has also proven beneficial for improving the clinical and communication skills of trainee interns as concluded from their feedback.
Evidence of Success:
- Every year, the set targets are being achieved with respect to the completeness and timeliness.
- The school health check-up activity has checked almost around one lakh students and more than 2000 teachers. The feedback from school authorities and teachers has been consistently positive.
- This activity has also proven beneficial for improving the clinical and communication skills of trainee interns as concluded from their feedback.
- Health education regarding nutrition, hygiene, safety, etc has been imparted well. Many undiagnosed/asymptomatic disease conditions have been diagnosed early through this activity.
- Appropriate referrals and their follow-ups are made to ensure a continuum of services provided.
Problems Encountered and Resources Required: It’s a challenge every year to complete the mammoth task. It requires meticulous planning in advance to schedule and allot time slots of health check-up to each academic institute. Their Summer/Diwali vacations, examination periods, etc need to be considered. Travelling arrangements are required. Manpower management, duty allotments, rotation timetables are required to manage efficiently. Appropriate co-ordination and communication with the school authorities is necessary. Material resources like printed questionnaires, instruments & equipment like stethoscope, weighing scales, BP instruments, gloves, etc. need to be procured in advance.