Chandigarh: Schools in Chandigarh will now be accredited as “Health Promoting Schools.” The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has agreed to fund an unique project propounded by Dr J S Thakur, Professor of Community Medicines, School of Public Health, PGI, Chandigarh. Concerned over the increasing trend among school-going children, the health research wing of the government toyed with the idea by evolving a framework for school’s accreditation on basis of health-related indicators. Based on the result of the study, the ICMR has chosen Chandigarh and Hyderabad to fund Dr Thakur’s HPS project.
Lateron, the plans to rollout it across the counter. All schools in Chandigarh and Hyderabad will be graded “Health Promoting Schools” and ICMR will fund the project. The plan is based on the successful intervention in 17 schools of Chandigarh conducted by Dr J S Thakur and who has pioneered the first oraganised accreditation mannual for HPS schools in India. A study has been done in eight government and nine private of Chandigarh taken to see the health-related indicators from 2011 to 2013. “While in 2013, only 25 per cent government and 22 per cent private schools had gold standards in health-related indicators.
The percentage has increased to 62 per cent and 89 per cent respectively by 2013, states the study. Overall result of the study is the proportion of gold schools increased from 23 in 2011 to 76 in 2013,” said Dr Thakur. The study showed improvement in health-related indicators at the end of the project. It graded UT schools on gold, silver, bronze and platinum standards. In the study it was found that these improved their standard after implementing the accreditation framework. Various studies have reveal that when it comes to junk or fried food consumption, Chandigarh and Delhi topped the list with 76 per cent, closely followed by Hyderabad with 75 per cent.
A study conducted by PGI, Chandigarh revealed that 15 per cent of city’s school children were either obese or overweight and have developed liver disease, blood pressure and gall bladder diseases. The idea is to address childhood obesity. Global School Health Survey India recently revealed only 30 per cent students were physically active for at least 60 minutes per day on all days of a week. Another study showed the prevalence of overweight among schoolgoing adolescents at 5.5 per cent. The World Health Organisation’s charter for health promotion contains six essential components for HPS viz safe and healthy environment; school nutrition and food services; school health education; school health services; physical education and recreation and health promotion for school staff and callef for increasing the number of HPS worldwide.
The Health Promoting School representys key settings through which health can be improved. Despite this there is some considerable uncertainty about facilities available in schools to call these as ‘HPSs.’ Chandigarh was the first city where schools volunteered to participate in the HPS accreditation. Although the Quality Council of India has developed accreditation standards for school governance in India yet it was Dr Thakur who first evolved an organised accreditation manual for HPS schools in India. The step can be seen as a check on poor dietary habits and substance abuse among students, decrease the risk of eating disorders, obesity, cardiovascular diseases and cancer among them, thereby addressing the NCD burden.
For more news updates Follow and Like us on Facebook