The final PHASE project that the 2016 GlobeMed at Tufts GROW Team participated in was the implementation of health checks in Rayale. They were conducted by local PHASE health staff in Shree Bhalchandra Higher Secondary School and Shree Shanti Niketan Higher Secondary School in all grades through Year 10.
The GROW team was introduced to the project by Dr Gerda Pohl through a training about the importance and feasibility of the checks. She reviewed the health concerns that could be present in the community, which of these were reasonable to check for in schools, and how each would be assessed.
While in Rayale, the GROW team talked with the local health staff and the schools to ensure the need for the checks and that they could actually be carried out. Ultimately, the community health workers checked the following: weight, height (in children through Year 2), anaemia, vision, hearing, and teeth. Any child who did not meet the criteria for each category was flagged for follow up and will be referred to treatment in Kathmandu if necessary.
The GlobeMed Team was present for the two days of health checks in Shree Bhalchandra School. There, 295 students were screened and vision problems were the most common health issue detected along with a few cases of anaemia. Screenings such as these, especially when conducted en masse in a school setting, prove invaluable in monitoring the health of a community and removing health barriers to learning by determining factors that could impeding the education of individual students.