The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Health cards monitor for school students

Ishita, a Class IX student of Lake Town Government Sponsored Girls’ High School, fell critically ill a year ago. She had ulcers.

Ishita’s family was able to afford the treatment with help from students, employees and guardians. Doctors said the ulcers could have been prevented if she had been diagnosed earlier.

This case gave a teacher of the school, Sipra Bhaduri, the idea of introducing a card for students to record their state of health. Then she got to know a doctor, Satyapriya De Sarkar, attached to the Indian Public Health Association. De Sarkar was trying out a similar project at nearby Patipukur Girls’ High School. With the help of teachers and health monitors chosen from students, health records of students of different classes were being prepared.

Bhaduri collaborated with De Sarkar and embarked on an ambitious project, the first of its kind in Bengal, to prepare the health cards of 4,000 students in nine schools of the Lake Town area. The project won the President’s award this year.

Two teachers from each school were chosen to gather health information of the students of their respective schools. “The teachers, in turn, choose a health monitor from each class, who maintains the records of individual classmates. After gathering up-to-date information, he or she submits it to the teacher concerned. The supervising teachers keep a lookout for any signs of illness and sort out the health records every Saturday after school,” said Abdul Aziz Sardar, a teacher of Narayandas Bangur Multipurpose Boys’ School, one of the nine member schools under the project.

If a student falls ill repeatedly, his health record is sent to the panel of doctors, by whom he is treated. Thereby, about 4,000 students of nine schools in the Lake Town area are treated every week. The project is such a success that it won the national innovative health concept award from the President this year. “The local civic body does donate a small sum, but it is the collective effort of students and teachers that takes the project forward,” said De Sarkar.

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