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Health Needs of Ashram Schools in Rural Wardha

Author(s): Amol R Dongre | Pradeep R Deshmukh | BS Garg

Journal: Online Journal of Health & Allied Sciences
ISSN 0972-5997

Volume: 10;
Issue: 1;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Ashram school | Personal hygiene | Morbidities | Tobacco consumption | Physical activity | Health promoting schools.

Objective: To assess the health needs for health promoting Ashram schools in rural Wardha. Methods: It was a cross sectional study undertaken in 10 Ashram schools, using qualitative (SWOT analysis, Transect walks and Semi-structured interviews of teachers) and quantitative (Survey) methods. Hemoglobin examination of all children was done by using WHO hemoglobin color scale. Anthropometric measurements such as height and weight of each child were obtained. Physical activity score for each child was calculated. The manual content analysis of qualitative data was done and the quantitative data was entered and analyzed using Epi_info (version 6.04d) software package. Results: Out of 1287 children examined, 724 (56.3%) were boys and 563 (43.7%) were girls. About 576 (44.8%), 213 (16.6%), 760 (59.1%) children had untrimmed nails, dirty clothes and unclean teeth respectively. More girls had (31.6%) lice infestation than boys (18.2%). Eighty six (6.7%), 75 (5.8%) and 110 (8.6%) children had scabies, fungal infection and multiple boils on their skin respectively and 158 (12.3%), 136 (10.6%) and 66 (18.3%) children had dental caries, wax in ears and worm infestation respectively. Notably, 988 (76.8%) children had iron deficiency anemia which was significantly more among girls (81.9%) than boys (72.8%). About 506 (39.3%) children consumed any tobacco product in last one month. About 746 (57.9%) children were classified to have sedentary physical activity. Among 774 children (>12 years), 183 (23.6%) and 34 (4.4%) children felt lonely ‘sometime’ and ‘most of the times’ respectively. About 398 (94.3%) boys and 342 (97.2%) girls did not know the modes of transmission of HIV/AIDS. Conclusions: In conclusion, there was high prevalence of risk factors for both communicable and non-communicable diseases in Ashram school environment. This dictates the urgent need for teacher driven, needs based and school based intervention that can screen and identify potentially preventable health conditions among underprivileged Ashram school children.
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