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Project to improve school emergency healthcare

Dec. 18: The Society for Promotion of School Health has launched the “third generation school health project” which will enable four schools in the city treat a student, injured or ill, on the school premises.

The prime aim of this programme is to improve the emergency management in schools and respond to a medical emergency within the first golden hour, to minimise medical complications in a child.

The Society has started this project in four schools here — Don Bosco School, Maria’s Public School, Faculty Higher Secondary School and Don Bosco University.

While the programme is functional in Don Bosco School and Faculty Higher Secondary School, the process is on to make it functional in the remaining two schools from January.

This project forms a part of the “Project Child Health Intellectual and Lifestyle Development” of the Society and comprises 26 components.

These include emergency management, real-time monitoring of the condition of an ailing child, tele-medicine, online and offline health record maintenance, medical check-ups, psychological and psychiatric counselling, reproductive health and lifestyle counselling and access to a safe and comfortable atmosphere in schools.

“Our priority is to make emergency medical care accessible to children in schools. Under this project, there will be a sick room in schools equipped with a trained nurse and stocks of emergency medicines. The sick room will have a camera that will be connected to our head office via Internet. This will allow the doctor in the office to monitor the activities in the sick room. He will be able to view the condition of a sick child through the visuals, while the nurse can consult him over the phone. First-aid will be administered to the child in consultation with doctors and if his condition is serious, he will be taken to the nearest hospital by an ambulance provided by us,” Shantonu Kr Das, chief coordinator of the project, said.

The medical expense of providing treatment in a hospital within the first hour of an emergency will be borne by the Society.

After the parents arrive, the child will be handed over to them. The organisation will also provide the stocks of emergency medicines to be made available in the sick rooms in a school.

“Though schools conduct medical check-ups, they never keep medical records of children screened. However, we will organise a full health check-up for students once a year. An expert team comprising a paediatrician, an ENT specialist, an ophthalmologist and a psychiatrist will screen the children for any health ailment. Our priority is to diagnose a problem in a child, keep records of his medical history and then refer him to trained specialists for treatment. This saves valuable time. The parents, too, can access the medical records of their child online from any part of the globe,” Das said.

The Society is also keen on addressing problems faced by children related to drinking water, sanitation, proper lighting in classrooms and a safe comfortable environment in schools.

“We will conduct surprise visits to check these facilities and take photographs, which later can be shown to the school administration. We also plan to motivate the cleaners responsible for cleaning the school premises by providing a cash reward to the best one so that they discharge their responsibilities well in maintaining a hygienic environment,” Das said.