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P1-419 Health promoting school initiative in ashram schools of Wardha district: an evaluation
  1. A Dongre1,
  2. P Deshmukh2,
  3. B Garg2
  1. 1Department of Community Medicine, Sri Manakula Vinayagar Medical College, Pondicherry, India
  2. 2Dr Sushila Nayar School of Public Health, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Sewagram, India

Abstract

Objective To study the effect of health promoting school-based intervention for disadvantaged children in the residential Ashram Schools of rural Wardha district of central India.

Material and Methods At baseline, 1287 children in 10 Ashram schools were examined using locally adopted Global School-based Student Health Survey questionnaire. Ashram (residential) schools are residential schools providing lodging and boarding, uniforms, books and notebooks and educational equipments to its poor inmates. It covered information on personal hygiene, physical status, nutrition, environment, substance abuse, risk behaviour, life skills and others. Haemoglobin examination of all children was done by using Haemoglobin colour scale. Body Mass Index (BMI) and Physical activity score for each child was calculated. Intervention was carried out through trained school health committee members. After 1 year, 1226 children were examined as end line assessment by using the same questionnaire. The data were entered and analysed using Epi_info software.

Results Overall, there was significant improvement in the status personal hygiene and reduction in related morbidities among school children. Noteworthy, percentage of current tobacco consuming children declined significantly from 506 (39.3%) to 210 (17.1%). The mean haemoglobin of the children increased from 10.7 g/dl to 11.4 g/dl. Notably, there was significant decline in thin (below 5 th percentile) children from 67.5% to 60.8% and there is increase in normal children with BMI for age (5th–85th percentile) from 32.2% to 38.5%.

Conclusions The need based participatory Health Promoting School initiative for vulnerable Ashram school children could improve their health status.

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