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Maternal And Child Health:
The need for MCH services:
There are four main reasons why mother and child health must be given top priority in terms of providing health services. Mothers and children below the age of 15 years make up the majority of the population in almost all countries.
In developing countries, they comprise nearly 65 per cent of the total population (in India 64 per cent). By virtue of their large numbers, their needs in terms of health care are greater Mothers and children constitute a "special risk" or vulnerable group - in terms of illnesses and deaths, connected with pregnancy and childbirth in the case of mothers; and growth and development in the case of children.
By improving the health of mothers and children, we improve the health of the family and community, and Ensuring child survival is a future Investment for the family and community.
A WHO Expert Group (1976) defined mother and child health services as the promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative care for mothers and children.
Objectives of MCH care:
The objectives of MCH care have been given below:
1. Reduction of maternal, perinatal, health is an important function of the primary health centres in India. There should be special clinic days and time set apart for this work. The services of specialists should be enlisted as and when necessary. That is, the school health clinic should be linked up with the PHC and higher levels of health care.
2. Immunizations: The school offers excellent opportunities for Immunisation for children. Immunization by 1990 was part of a global effort coordinated by the World Health Organization. The national immunization schedule is given below.
3. School sanitation: The school should be a model of good sanitation. There should be adequate, safe drinking water facilities preferably supplied by a tube well. Urinals and privies should be provided - one urinal for 60 students and one sanitary latrine for 100 students. Arrangements should be separate for boys and girls. Vendors other than those approved by the school health authority should not be allowed Inside school premises. A healthful school environment is necessary for the best emotional, social and personal health of the pupils.
4. Nutritional services: A child, who is physically weak because of poor nutrition cannot be expected to take full advantage of schooling. The community health nurse may be required to administer the following nutrition programmes : (a) Midday school meal(b) vitamin A prophylaxis programme - administration of a large dose (200,000 IU) of vitamin A orally to children every 6 months up to the age of 6 years or so.
5. First Aid: In every school, a fully equipped First Aid Box should be at hand. The emergencies commonly met with in schools are : (a) accidents (b) Injuries (c) medical emergencies like abdominal pain, epileptic fits, fainting, etc.
Education: Health education has an important role to play in the promotion of both
individual and community health. Health education in schools should not be
reduced merely to teach the children a set of rules of hygiene. Participation
of children in community health programmes (e.g., construction of wells,
latrines, vaccination campaigns, etc) should be encouraged, whenever possible.
The hygiene of skin, hair, teeth and clothing; the importance of exercise,
sleep, nutrition and good habits; the need for Immunization, safe water,
control of flies and other/insects are some of the topics on which
health-education may be profitably-Imparted.
School Health Records: The health record of each student should be properly maintained. The record should contain
identifying data - name, date of birth and address
past health history
record of findings of physical examination and screening
record of services provided.
These records, besides providing Information on the health aspects of school children, also serve as a useful link between the home, school and community.
Causes of poor health:
Poor health persists as a major problem in many developing countries, including India. The causes responsible for this situation need to be understood in effective measures are to be undertaken to improve health. The causes of poor health in India may be enumerated as below:
1. lack of safe drinking water
2. lack of basic sanitation
4. Unsanitary living conditions
5. pollution of water, food, soil and air
2. illiteracy Ignorance
3. prejudicial customs, traditions,
4. beliefs and cultural patterns
5. Inadequate nutrition
6. lack of personal hygiene
7. rapid population growth
1. Un-evendevelopment of health
2. care services and nursing care
3. inadequate primary health care
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