Health and Nutrition

One of the basic rights of every child id the RIGHT to get health care and treatment when sick. Hence a crosscutting area in all IPER projects is health. Health care is a very important need for the children who are in a high-risk condition.

Objective : To make people aware that health is major need and must be attended regularly for healthy development of children.

Children of all IPER projects undergo health screening, check-ups and are provided with immediate / emergency medicines required. Referral services are subsequently provided.

The Health programme at IPER includes health check-up, providing treatment in cases of different ailments like Upper respiratory Tract Infection, ENT, skin infection dental carries, pain and ache in the body, amoebiosis, general debility  and weakness. Beside cases of general sickness special cases of illness are treated either in IPER Health Clinics or by referring the case to a State Hospital or Private clinic. Such special cases had to be dealt with as Heart operations, surgical intervention, Dengue, Malaria and soon. IPER also extends support to cases of accidents.

One of the major reasons of deteriorating general health in children is worm-infection. De-worming sessions are carried out with children attending IPER as well as the formal schools that IPER is working with. Necessary pathological investigations are carried out with the help of Diagnostic Centres. Follow-up of cases form an integral part of the Medical interventions..

The Health care services are rendered through:

  • IPER Clinic – both static and mobile for children and women
  • Health screening
  • Eye check-up camp
  • Provision of medicines to prevent worms, to increase haemoglobin
  • Holding Pulse Polio Camps
  • Immunization of babies from the locality
  • Inculcation of healthy habits
  • By observing ‘Hand Washing Day’,
  • Campaigning on awareness on nutrition value of different food items and their
  • Cooking
  • Supplying some basic items of cleanliness like soap, detergent powder, toothpaste, combs to children
  • Nutritional supplementation through mid-day meal for 6 days a week to more than 700 children.

IPER carried out a major study for three consecutive years in assessing the impact of nutrition on anaemia that is Haemoglobin count on children living in impoverished conditions. It revealed that interventions in areas of food, awareness on healthy eating habits, nourishment have direct impact on the improvement of Hb count of children

IPER Clinic

IPER runs a regular Clinic both static and mobile for children and women. Along with a medical check-up and treatment to those who are ailing. Referrals are made where necessary. Special cases like asthma, TB, severe forms of malnourishment are taken care of by long-term treatment. Pathological and other types of investigations are also taken care of free of charge. In order to protect children from getting worm and other infection due to unhygienic habits supply of a few basic item of cleanliness like soap, detergent powder, bleaching powder, shampoo, toothpaste, comb to the children and their family. 

Medical check-up

Medical check-up is done on regular basis by the pediatrician attached with the organisation. Observation and findings of the medical check-up is entered in the medical check-up form of the respective child. Records of all such check-ups, investigations and medicines supplied are maintained. Blood Group Reports of the children is maintained.

Current projects with health & nutrition as a focus 

Baal Daan Mission  

IPER has been running this program from 2016.The Baal Dan grant, which we call ‘Food for Children’, enables us to provide food for 105 children with 35 each in three centres for 5 days a week as per the diet plan. Lunch is cooked in the morning and delivered to the centres by 1 p.m. in IPER’s vehicle. In the third centre, located near Ballygunge station, the vendor appointed serves lunch as per the diet plan. The teacher and social worker supervise the meal programme. 

Activities promoting good health  

Hand Washing Day

Global Hand Washing Day is observed every year at IPER in association with Hindustan Unilever Ltd. A group of volunteers encourage the children to maintain ‘Cleanliness’ and ‘Hand Washing’ as rituals through a demo with the help of big poster and written steps of washing hands. Children participated and showed manually ways of ‘how to wash hands’ following different steps to stay away from germs. 

Swachh Bharat Mission

Support Childline Kolkata made an awareness campaign on ‘Swachh Bharat Mission (Clean India Movement) in Rangcal and Madertala Basti among the children and mothers of the communities. They were involved directly in cleaning the area. Childline team members, children group and the mothers swept the play ground where the children used to play with the broom. They also picked up the garbage and placed it into the dustbin. The main objective of this campaign was  to make people aware of cleaning their own house and to keep cleanliness in their community environment. “Swachh Bharat Mission” is making people conscious about the need for cleanliness 

Swachhta Pakhwada

Support Kolkata Childline held an awareness programme on cleanliness, and health & hygiene in the non formal school at Tiljala, Sibtala Lane run by IPER under the project of Smile Foundation. The children come from un-hygienic, un-healthy and congested areas of Park Circus. They use common toilets and drinking water which are supplied by Kolkata Corporation. Team members made them aware about the need for cleanliness and how to maintain it in their daily lives. Team members also held awareness on cleanliness of the common toilets and pure drinking water and to stop misuse of the drinking water. They requested the guardians to make their children awareness of this. Nutritious food packets were distributed among the children.

Kolkata Support Childline organizes drawing session from time to time on the theme of cleanliness among the children of the community. This year the team members gave an idea of ‘Swachha Bharat Mission”. The children drew some pictures on this theme depicting ways to keep the area neat & clean such as using dustbins for throwing garbage.

FACTS ABOUT COVID-19 (UNICEF Guideline)

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a disease caused by a new strain of coronavirus. ‘CO’ stands for corona, ‘VI’ for virus, and ‘D’ for disease. The COVID-19 virus is a new virus linked to the same family of viruses as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and some types of common cold.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms can include fever, cough and shortness of breath. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia or breathing difficulties. More rarely, the disease can be fatal. These symptoms are similar to the flu (influenza) or the common cold, which are a lot more common than COVID-19. This is why testing is required to confirm if someone has COVID-19.

How does COVID-19 spread?

The virus is transmitted through direct contact with respiratory droplets of an infected person (generated through coughing and sneezing). Individuals can also be infected from and touching surfaces contaminated with the virus and touching their face (e.g., eyes, nose, mouth). The COVID-19 virus may survive on surfaces for several hours, but simple disinfectants can kill it.

Who is most at risk?

 We are learning more about how COVID-19 affects people every day.  Older people, and people with chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, appear to be more at risk of developing severe symptoms.  As this is a new virus, we are still learning about how it affects children. We know it is possible for people of any age to be infected with the virus, but so far there are relatively few cases of COVID-19 reported among children. This is a new virus and we need to learn more about how it affects children. The virus can be fatal in rare cases, so far mainly among older people with pre-existing medical conditions.

What is the treatment for COVID-19?

 There is no currently available vaccine for COVID-19. However, many of the symptoms can be treated and getting early care from a healthcare provider can make the disease less dangerous. There are several clinical trials that are being conducted to evaluate potential therapeutics for COVID-19. How can the spread of COVID-19 be slowed down or prevented? As with other respiratory infections like the flu or the common cold, public health measures are critical to slow the spread of illnesses.

Public health measures are everyday preventive actions that include:

✓ covering mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing. Dispose of used tissue immediately;

✓ staying home when sick;

 ✓ washing hands often with soap and water; and

 ✓ cleaning frequently touched surfaces and objects. As we learn more about COVID-19 public health officials may recommend additional actions.