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Government Of Assam Health & Family Welfare

Child Health Care
 

What is Child's Health?

Child Health is a state of physical, mental, intellectual, social and emotional well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Healthy children live in families, environments, and communities that provide them with the opportunity to reach their fullest developmental potential.

Our Schemes for Children Health Care:

  1. Free Surgery for Children Having Cleft Palate and Lip
  2. Free Operations for Children Having Congenital Heart Disease
  3. Snehasparsh

Key Health Dangers For Children:

Nearly 6.9 million children under the age of five died in 2011 – nearly 800 every hour – but most could survive threats and thrive with access to simple, affordable interventions.

The risk of death is highest in the first month of life. Preterm birth, birth asphyxia and infections cause most newborn deaths. Health risks to newborns are minimized by:

  • Quality care during pregnancy;
  • Safe delivery by a skilled birth attendant; and
  • Strong neonatal care: immediate attention to breathing and warmth, hygienic cord and skin care, and early initiation of exclusive breastfeeding.

    From one month to five years of age, the main causes of death are pneumonia, diarrhoea, malaria and measles. Malnutrition is estimated to contribute to more than one third of all child deaths.

  • Pneumonia is the prime cause of death in children under five years of age. Addressing the major risk factors – including malnutrition and indoor air pollution – is essential to preventing pneumonia, as are vaccination and breastfeeding. Antibiotics and oxygen are vital tools for effectively managing the illness.
  • Diarrhoeal diseases are a leading cause of sickness and death among children in developing countries. Breastfeeding helps prevent diarrhoea among young children. Treatment for sick children with Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) combined with zinc supplements is safe, cost-effective, and saves lives.
  • One child dies every minute from malaria. Insecticide-treated nets prevent transmission and increase child survival.
  • Over 90% of children with HIV are infected through mother-to-child transmission; this can be prevented with antiretrovirals, as well as safer delivery and feeding practices.
  • Worldwide, about 20% of deaths among children under-five could be avoided if feeding guidelines are followed. WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding for six months, introducing age-appropriate and safe complementary foods at six months, and continuing breastfeeding for up to two years or beyond.

    About two-thirds of child deaths are preventable through practical, low-cost interventions. WHO is improving child health by helping countries to deliver integrated, effective care in a continuum - starting with a healthy pregnancy for the mother, through birth and care up to five years of age. Investing in strong health systems is key to prevention and delivery of quality care.

 

Pneumonia:

Key facts

  • Pneumonia accounts for 16% of all deaths of children under 5 years old, killing 920 136 children in 2015.
  • Pneumonia can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi.
  • Pneumonia can be prevented by immunization, adequate nutrition, and by addressing environmental factors.
  • Pneumonia caused by bacteria can be treated with antibiotics, but only one third of children with pneumonia receive the antibiotics they need.
 

Pneumonia is a form of acute respiratory infection that affects the lungs. The lungs are made up of small sacs called alveoli, which fill with air when a healthy person breathes. When an individual has pneumonia, the alveoli are filled with pus and fluid, which makes breathing painful and limits oxygen intake.

Pneumonia is the single largest infectious cause of death in children worldwide. Pneumonia killed 920 136 children under the age of 5 in 2015, accounting for 16% of all deaths of children under five years old. Pneumonia affects children and families everywhere, but is most prevalent in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Children can be protected from pneumonia, it can be prevented with simple interventions, and treated with low-cost, low-tech medication and care.

Causes:

Pneumonia is caused by a number of infectious agents, including viruses, bacteria and fungi. The most common are:

  • Streptococcus pneumoniae – the most common cause of bacterial pneumonia in children;
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) – the second most common cause of bacterial pneumonia;
  • Respiratory syncytial virus is the most common viral cause of pneumonia;
  • In infants infected with HIV, Pneumocystis jiroveci is one of the most common causes of pneumonia, responsible for at least one quarter of all pneumonia deaths in HIV-infected infants.

Transmission:

Pneumonia can be spread in a number of ways. The viruses and bacteria that are commonly found in a child's nose or throat, can infect the lungs if they are inhaled. They may also spread via air-borne droplets from a cough or sneeze. In addition, pneumonia may spread through blood, especially during and shortly after birth. More research needs to be done on the different pathogens causing pneumonia and the ways they are transmitted, as this is of critical importance for treatment and prevention.

Presenting Features:

The presenting features of viral and bacterial pneumonia are similar. However, the symptoms of viral pneumonia may be more numerous than the symptoms of bacterial pneumonia. In children under 5 years of age, who have cough and/or difficult breathing, with or without fever, pneumonia is diagnosed by the presence of either fast breathing or lower chest wall indrawing where their chest moves in or retracts during inhalation (in a healthy person, the chest expands during inhalation). Wheezing is more common in viral infections.

Very severely ill infants may be unable to feed or drink and may also experience unconsciousness, hypothermia and convulsions.

Risk factors:

While most healthy children can fight the infection with their natural defences, children whose immune systems are compromised are at higher risk of developing pneumonia. A child's immune system may be weakened by malnutrition or undernourishment, especially in infants who are not exclusively breastfed.

Pre-existing illnesses, such as symptomatic HIV infections and measles, also increase a child's risk of contracting pneumonia.

The following environmental factors also increase a child's susceptibility to pneumonia:

  • Indoor air pollution caused by cooking and heating with biomass fuels (such as wood or dung)
  • Living in crowded homes
  • Parental smoking.

Treatment:

Pneumonia should be treated with antibiotics. The antibiotic of choice is amoxicillin dispersable tablets. Most cases of pneumonia require oral antibiotics, which are often prescribed at a health centre. These cases can also be diagnosed and treated with inexpensive oral antibiotics at the community level by trained community health workers. Hospitalization is recommended only for severe cases of pneumonia.

Prevention:

Preventing pneumonia in children is an essential component of a strategy to reduce child mortality. Immunization against Hib, pneumococcus, measles and whooping cough (pertussis) is the most effective way to prevent pneumonia.

Adequate nutrition is key to improving children's natural defences, starting with exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life. In addition to being effective in preventing pneumonia, it also helps to reduce the length of the illness if a child does become ill.

Addressing environmental factors such as indoor air pollution (by providing affordable clean indoor stoves, for example) and encouraging good hygiene in crowded homes also reduces the number of children who fall ill with pneumonia.

In children infected with HIV, the antibiotic cotrimoxazole is given daily to decrease the risk of contracting pneumonia.