Health checkups for improved education

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“To find out if a child needs aid early in their life will help them improve and develop,” says Dr. Qais, health officer at the Ajani Malika Female School in Aibak. Swedish Committee for Afghanistan conduct health checkups in the school to discover hearing or visual impairments on students, and educates the teachers in first aid.

The school started with the health checkups 1st of March this year. The aim with the checkups is that the every student will be examined at least once every year. The focus is on hearing and eyesight in order to track disabilities that might hinder the possibilities to learn properly. SCA also installed a health room for the checkups, equipped with some first aid kit, and the teachers was taught first aid and how to use right tools in an emergency.

”We have a health room in this school with first aid kits for the teachers. The room is built for the checkups, so we can detect any disability or disease in time,” says Dr. Qais. He explains that they have checked 130 students and that they are continuing this process.

“We have journals for each of the students. After the second checkup we will see if there has been a progress. If not, we refer them to the hospital” Dr. Qais says and emphasizes the positive support from the parents.

Mehria is 15 years old. She is a student in 9th class and her favorite subject is English. She has not gone through the medical checkup yet, but is waiting for her turn.

“I love to play football with my brothers at home. With the checkups I can see that I am healthy enough to play,” Mehria says with a smile.

“I think the checkups are good. Especially for the children living in families that have difficulties to afford going to the hospital. The checkups functions as awareness for us, so we know how to take care of our health,” says Mehria.

Shabana is another student. She is 16 years old and her favorite subject is chemistry. She has gone through the medical checkup in the school. The doctor found that she is in need of glasses, but she has not bought any yet, due to weak economy.

“If a child needs a surgery or treatment they are referred to the SCA clinic in Mazar or the Red Cross for financial support” Dr. Qais explains.

In Samangan, there are 7 health schools, 4 female schools and 3 male schools. SCA is covering only health related activities in the mentioned schools such as medical check-ups, provision of health information and improvement of the school environment.