With a view to providing good health to students studying in government schools, 130 students suffering from various diseases have been treated free of cost in a span of two months under the Sarva Sikhya Abhiyan (SSA).
The district health authorities, on the deputy commissioner's instructions, had started an awareness campaign in schools, where they registered various students suffering from diseases and provided them treatment under the SSA.
Five of the 46 students from Mansa district found having eye, hearing and speech problems were operated upon on Monday while the remaining were getting treatment. As many as 26 students were found suffering from eye disease and 22 from hearing ailment.
Similarly, till date, around 85 children have been treated for congenital heart defects (hole in heart), cancer, paralysis and polio, free of cost after they registered through SSA that allows free treatment at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, and Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana.
Schoolchildren having RHD (rheumatic heart disease) and CHD (congenital heart disease) are being treated at hospitals, including Christian Medical College and Oswal, under the National Rural Health Mission scheme, while 13 students suffering from cancer, who are from ages six to 14, are also getting treatment. Besides RHD and CHD, 55 surgeries for polio and paralysis have been done in the past one year.
Students Gurpreet Kaur and Gurlal are suffering from cancer and are under treatment. Similarly, class-10 student Akshay and six-year-old Sapna suffered from heart disease and were treated at DMC, Ludhiana. Sapna's father, Satpal Singh, hailing from Mansa is poor and could not afford her daughter's treatment.
Major Singh, a labourer, father of Kuldip Singh, student of class-7 at government school, Akalia village, said, "A few days ago, my son's lips were operated upon by doctors free of cost. I could not have afforded the costly treatment."
Meanwhile, while talking to HT, deputy commissioner Amit Dhaka has appealed to the public to bring their children for free treatment. "The schoolchildren suffering from various diseases, who cannot afford treatment, are being provided treatment with travel and food expenses to their parents under the SSA. The treatment for diseases like cancer, CHD and RHD is available for students of government schools while treatment for paralysis is offered to students of even private schools."
District education officer Rajinder Mittal said, "Students of government schools till 20 years of age could get treatment of speech ailments in eight smile train hospitals across the state."