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Comprehensive study of health problems in school children of Hyderabad, India

Altaf Naseem, Nayantara Rao G..

Abstract
Background: It is estimated that over one-fifth of our population comprises of children aged 5-14 years and only 80% of these children are enrolled in schools. A child spends most of the time in school and it is considered an ideal place for learning and growing up of a child. In India due to poverty and prevailing socio-cultural milieu a substantial number of school children suffer from various diseases which can be prevented if diagnosed and treated early. We conducted this study to evaluate the health and the nutritional status of school children and comparison was drawn between the rural and urban school children.
Methods: This is a cross sectional prospective study where a total of 500 school children from rural and urban government schools were thoroughly assessed by a detailed clinical examination including anthropometry.
Results: It was observed that more than half of the children from both rural (56%) and urban (58%) schools were under nourished. The BCG vaccination coverage was better in urban school children (86.5%), with an overall coverage of 80% .Various other problems were more prevalent in rural school children except respiratory diseases which were observed to be more prevalent in urban school children (7.2%).
Conclusions: It was learnt that the morbidity of school age children from the community’s perspective is entirely different from morbidity from health care professional’s perspective. Therefore, educating the community will go a long way in improving the quality of life.

Key words: School age children, Morbidity, Undernourished



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