Medical Screenings in Assam

Jorhat, a small town in Upper Assam, was the last capital of the Ahom dynasty which ruled Assam for close to six centuries before the colonial era. This town is a gateway to the state of Nagaland, nestled in the tea gardens dotted around the city; it boasts about the Tocklai Research Association (TRA) which is the largest and oldest Tea Research Centre of its kind in the world. Located in the north of the district, the Brahmaputra River forms Majuli, the largest riverine island of the world. This island spreads over 924.6 square kilometers with a population of about 150,000. The cultural diversities which prevailed in Jorhat nearly a century ago has inspired the people to participate in cultural activities through the decades and as a result Jorhat has acquired the status of "The Cultural Capital of Assam".

Chaliha is a small village about 5 km from Jorhat Airport. Its total population is around 7,000 and approximately 1,400 families live in this village. Chaliha Gaon Primary School is one of the two primary schools where 48 students study. Most of these children are from the underprivileged section of this village, whose parents are engaged in marginal activities providing livelihood for less than six months. This primary school was started under Sikshajyoti programme in the year 1954.

Jorhat, a small town in Upper Assam, was the last capital of the Ahom dynasty which ruled Assam for close to six centuries before the colonial era. This town is a gateway to the state of Nagaland, nestled in the tea gardens dotted around the city; it boasts about the Tocklai Research Association (TRA) which is the largest and oldest Tea Research Centre of its kind in the world. Located in the north of the district, the Brahmaputra River forms Majuli, the largest riverine island of the world. This island spreads over 924.6 square kilometers with a population of about 150,000. The cultural diversities which prevailed in Jorhat nearly a century ago has inspired the people to participate in cultural activities through the decades and as a result Jorhat has acquired the status of "The Cultural Capital of Assam".

Chaliha is a small village about 5 km from Jorhat Airport. Its total population is around 7,000 and approximately 1,400 families live in this village. Chaliha Gaon Primary School is one of the two primary schools where 48 students study. Most of these children are from the underprivileged section of this village, whose parents are engaged in marginal activities providing livelihood for less than six months. This primary school was started under Sikshajyoti programme in the year 1954.

On February 21, a team of physicians, namely, Sri Mayyurakhi Bordoloi, General Physician; Sri Pranab Jyoti Kurmi, Dentist; Sri Nayan Jyoti Neog, Optometrist; Dr Kakoli Majumdar, Sr. DGO and other members from Jorhat and Kolkata went to Chaliha Gaon Primary School. Sri Ranjit Bordoloi, President of Rotary Club Jorhat, a social activist who has received two national awards "Dr. Ambedkar Fellowship National Award 2017" and “National Veer Maharana Pratap Singha Samaj Bhushan award" came to the school for the inauguration of the Divine Child Health Program.

Smt. Tuhina Chattopadhyay, a head teacher of a playschool in Jorhat and Smt. Nandini Menon, a teacher by profession and the prime force of Aarogya Vahini in Assam coordinated the entire programme with the support of Sri Bharkanto Gogoi, the headmaster of the school.

38 students were screened and were found to require dental scaling. This was one of the major issues that was identified among 29 out of 38 (nearly 75%) students screened. Most of these children had no idea about washing their mouth after every meal or brushing of their teeth. Observation during this screening also identified Anemia amongst the children, of whom there were 19 girls (100%) and 7 boys (37%). Amongst the Opthalmic screening, one of the children was detected with Congenital Cataract and with the General Screenings, one child was suspected to have ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) symptoms. Both the children require follow up care which is being facilitated with higher centers of Optometry and Pediatric Cardiology respectively, by Smt. Nandini and Smt. Tuhina.

As the team gears up to provide subsequent schools with similar health screenings, Aarogya Vahini team is inspired with more participation of local volunteers, doctors and paramedics who are enhancing this programme in touching precious lives!