As many as 3,456 students of state-run government and government-aided schools in Punjab have been diagnosed with congenital and rheumatic heart diseases.
The students under 18 were diagnosed after a health check-up of all students in 19,971 schools, which is going on since 2008, under the Rashtriya Bal Suraksha Karyakram.
The students have been referred to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, and other tertiary hospitals for treatment and 2,129 of them have been operated upon. As many as 294 students were diagnosed with thalassaemia and have been referred to thalassaemic societies for treatment.
Health minister Surjit Kumar Jyani on Tuesday said the screening of children up to 18 for defects at birth, diseases, deficiencies and development delays, including disabilities, had also been started. Children diagnosed with any other ailment would also receive follow-up care at the district-level, including surgeries.
Jyani asked district health officers to coordinate with school authorities before visiting the schools. He asked the anganwadi workers and health officers to ensure availability of free health treatment forms in schools and anganwadi centres.
According to the plan, 26,179 anganwadi centres, comprising 15.4 lakh students, have been covered under the scheme so far.
The minister said all newborns at public health facilities are screened for birth defects by medical staff and newborns at homes are screened by ASHA workers who have been sensitised for births defects. He said the screening of children enrolled in anganwadi centres is done according to the micro-plan prepared at the block level and districts.
As many as 258 teams are working in Punjab and 328 auxiliary medical officers, 183 pharmacists and 229 staff nurses have been recruited and are being trained under the scheme.