Schools take healthcare beyond mere check-ups


Health check-ups at schools are no more about just queuing up before a physician and getting away from a few classes. In the past few years, many schools have started having specialized doctor visits and interaction with parents.While it’s mandatory for schools to conduct annual health check-ups, several institutions in the city are providing much more than a visit by a general practitioner or a dentist.
Schools now have on-call doctors, full-time nurses and interactions with parents about identified problems. “We have a clinic on the campus with nurses. Besides, we have a tieup with the hospital across the road. Health check-ups always help as they identify problems that we don’t realise exist,” said Seema Saini, principal, NL Dalmia School, Mira Road. Taking it further ahead, Podar Group of Schools are also looking at the students’ mental health. “We have an in house counsellor for behavioural and emotional well-being of students and help diagnose learning disabilities. Having specialist health check-ups help because even the slightest problem can cause behavioural or physical issues.It is important to get to the root of the problem so that we do not blame the child for under-performance at school,” said Swati Popat Vats, president, Podar Education Network. The schools have also started talking to parents about ensuring that children get the needed amount of Vitamin D and B3.
Recently, Kohinoor Inter national School, Kurla, tied up with the Indian Pediatric Network (IPN) to hold health check-up camps consisting of paediatricians, ophthalmologists, dentists and nutritionists. “We decided to have the camp on a weekend and gave parents prior appointments.So many children have problems that are not being identified and these detailed assignments help in that. We are generating a complete report using a software and the information is made available to the parents on a mobile application for further reference,” said Dr Atish Laddad from IPN, which, through its Healthy School Project, is trying to reach out to 100 schools in the city this year.
Parents too have welcomed the change. “We try to be very careful with children’s health, but a regular check-up at school is definitely a plus, especially for working parents,” said Arpan Gada, a mother of two.

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