Abstract: Background & Objectives:
School health is an important branch of community health. School health services is an economical and powerful means of raising community health. Child is vulnerable to many infectious diseases and nutritional deficiencies. The objectives of our study are to assess the health and nutritional status of the school going children.
Methods: The present school based cross sectional study was conducted in rural area of Palakkad district, Kerala from November – December 2017. Purposive sampling technique was adopted to select school and 244 students studying in 5th to 7th standards were included in this study. All students who were present at the time of survey were included in the study. A semi-structured questionnaire was used for collecting data. Data was entered in MS excel, windows 2010 and analysed using MS excel.
Results: Out of 244 students who participated in this study, 137 (56.1%), were boys and 107 (43.9%) were girls. The most common health morbidities among the school children was dental caries (27.0%), followed by clinically apparent pallor (5.7%), bleeding gums (7%), ear discharge 1.6%, hypopigmented patches (11.1%) and refractive errors 2.8%.
Thirty seven percent of boys and 25.2% girls were undernourished. The prevalence of overweight was 8% in boys and 6.5% in girls. The prevalence of obesity was 2.2% among boys and 3% among girls.
Conclusion: The common health related morbidities found were dental caries, hypopigmented patches, bleeding gums and pallor. Boys were more undernourished compared to girls. Providing health education regarding adequate balanced diet and personal hygiene can reduce the burden of these health-related morbidities among the school children.