Chennai, Dec 8 (UNI) The Centre will soon launch a Smart Health Card for students as part of National School Health Programme (NSHP) under which students would be screened for all common ailments, including diabetes, Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss announced today.
The NSHP would be launched in association with the Union Ministry of Human Resource and Development, he said, inaugurating the 'Synergy-2007', the silver jubilee meeting of Strabismological Society of India (SSI).
The Smart Cards would contain the full medical records of the students.
He said NSHP was aimed at tackling the increasing prevalence of childhood blindness, which at present was 0.8 per 1,000 people.
It would also support isolated screening programmes run by states like Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and Gujarat and also encourage public-private partnership.
Dr Anbumani said the government targetted to reduce the rate of blindness in the country to 0.3 per cent by 2020 from the present 1.1 per cent. Of the 3.5 crore children screened last year, 9.5 lakh were found with refractive eye problems, he added.
Countering the government critics on the low spending for public health, he said the Centre had planned to increase the allocation for public health to Rs 1.36 lakh crore in the 11th plan from Rs 45,000 crore in the last plan period.
The government had also planned to focus more on training the manpower, including paramedics and nurses, the Minister added.
Speaking on the occasion, SSI President Dr Kamlesh said the government should consider making mandatory submission of vision certificates during the school admission.