Team Suhrid had conducted camps for 650 students in the months of Sept and Oct, 2014. Majority of the kids were provided the treatment for illness and medicines for the deficiencies during the camp. We had identified 51 students, who needed advanced treatment. Out of this 51, almost 15 to 20 were to be observed for a week or two to confirm the need for the advanced treatment. Around 10 to 15 were given medication for a few weeks and we planned to observe the progress for few weeks. At the end of Dec, 2014, we finalized on the list of 15 students, who needed advanced checkup/treatment. Out of this 15, one had ENT issue, seven needed neurological checkup and the remaining seven needed ophthalmic examination.
Team Suhrid arranged two vehicles for the visit of the 15 kids from Vikramgad. Since many of the kids had neurological disorder, parents and few teachers also accompanied them. Dr Bharat Jobanputra performed ENT checkup at Kandivali, Dr Hiten Makwana carried out the eye checkup at Malad, wherein Dr Manoj Rajani handled the neurological checkup at Borivali.
The results of eye examinations were very alarming. Five out of seven kids had very high myopia (-6 and above) with major astigmatism. Lack of treatment of high myopia in time resulted in kids having amblyopia (lazy eyes). A few had some congenital problems such as displaced optical disk, severe night blindness or blocked tear gland. One of the kid had his one retina completely damaged due to ocular toxoplasmosis. Though, we would be providing them glasses and medicines, only a few would be able to show significant improvement since the problems have become permanent due to constant ignorance.
It is important to know that these kids were identified during the normal health checkup, which did not deal much with eye examination. We can expect more of these cases during the comprehensive eye examination.
As per the discussions with Doctor, the main causes for this situation are
- Inadequate nutrition by mother during the pregnancy (Gap between two deliveries is too short)
- Inadequate nutrition of the kid during the early age.
- Unavailability of the medical centers for eye checkup
- Ignorance by the parents, despite of knowing the problem.
If the kids are born with some defects or develop the problems in the early age, then the kid can still be treated properly and the problem can be arrested. However, if it is ignored beyond a point, then it is difficult to revert. Ignorance of high myopia, congenital cataract etc result in kids developing lazy eyes syndrome. If a kid with tendency for night blindness is identified early, then proper dosage of vitamin A etc can help him improve.
While we would try to educate parents towards good nutrition and timely eye checkup of their kids, we would have to put very high emphasis on the eye test in the school at regular interval. The objective would be to identify all the kids with ocular disorder at the early age and arrange for the treatment to avoid those problems becoming permanent. This would be carried out by providing them eye-test charts which would help teachers identify kids with a problem, who can be further brought for medical checkup.
For all 7 kids for Neuro checkup, important activity was to educate parents of the children about the illness they have and the care required to taken for those kids. Some of the epileptic kids require to take regular medicines for 3 months before follow-up after 3 months. There was a one child for whom the regular physiotherapy is required. In absence of physio therapists, basic exercises was taught to her mother who can take care of the kid.
Ignorance in the parents and absence of appropriate medical support at times of major illness in young age, some of the neurological disorders remain untreated (eg convulsion during high fever). Further ignorance about such issues result into aggravation in the problem.