Primary healthcare to be part of curriculum

NEW DELHI: Primary healthcare is set to be part of the school curriculum. The government is working on a proposal to make health education, focusing on tropical diseases like dengue, malaria, swine flu etc, part of the syllabus in schools as also in colleges.

The health ministry is expected to propose the idea to the HRD ministry during a meeting slated for later this week, an official said.

The move coincides with the onset of monsoon which triggers various diseases. A health ministry official said the government wants to involve students as they are the best vehicles to create awareness.

"Many of these diseases can be prevented merely by spreading awareness about the 'dos' and 'don'ts'. People, especially children, need to take certain precautions and educating students is the best means to create awareness on primary healthcare," the official said.

The health ministry has also approached the Delhi government with a similar proposal and is expected to do a consultation with other states.

"We are approaching the concept from all possible angles. We want to ensure that the plan sees the light of the day and is implemented in an efficient manner. We are also co-ordinating with the states to make it a success," the official said, adding that the health ministry will facilitate infrastructure, technical as well as logistical assistance.

The ministry has also suggested a dedicated period when students can be taught in detail about these diseases and precautions that are required along with their treatment.

Recently, suspected cases of dengue have been reported from Bengaluru and some other parts of the country.

Experts say health education should form a crucial part of school syllabus. "Unfortunately, it is still missing in India while it can play a significant role in the country's health infrastructure and in countering many diseases. Even knowledge and education about basic hygiene can bring about a difference," said a public health expert.


- Sushmi Dey