June 22, 2012
By Surya Ry, PLF Intern
Medicines, hygiene supplies, dozens of cases of water, medical records and other supplies were brought to the Knar School over a course of 3 days to conduct health screenings for all the students. PLF staff and volunteers organized the health screening with teachers at Knar. The students received regularly scheduled deworming meds and we also recorded their height, weight, temperature and checked overall health of over 370 students.
After updating the students’ medical records and checking the students for any health issues, each student was given a hygiene care package with a toothbrush, tooth paste, a bar of soap and a sheet of paper reminding how to properly brush your teeth. Such a small package can actually make a huge difference in the health of our students; many expressed pain from tooth aches, and simple medications and better hygiene can potentially improve their health.
The PLF has addressed many health concerns with such solutions. Even a breakfast meal can help each child stay healthy, which is what the Knar school provides. Students at the Knar school receive a daily breakfast cooked at the school. This breakfast program encourages stronger health and helps maintain attendance at the school. Deworming keeps students who live in rural poverty free(er) from worms, which greatly enhances overall health and nutrition.
Volunteers and staff members also worked with the school nurse to dispense simple over the counter medicines that help with ear aches and tooth aches. Small cuts and wounds, often on the feet, were cleaned with antibacterial creams and bandaged. Only a handful of students out of 400 were referred to the hospital for further care.
This is the lowest number of students ever to be referred to the Children’s Hospital following a health check. We believe the combination of more food, clean water, more attention to hygiene, regular deworming and most importantly the training and support of a school nurse, has had a major impact on well being of the children at Knar.
Volunteers and staff members were stationed at Knar for a total of 3 days from Tuesday June 19th to Thursday June 21st 2012 and checked almost all 400 students at the Knar school. The health screenings went well and another will be held at this school in about 6 months.