Hitesh Chavda, Gandhinagar: The Ahmedabad Civil Hospital will be treating three Amreli school children, who are suffering from goitre disease, under the School Health Programme (SHP) of the government’s National Health Mission. The three children are siblings belonging to a poor family in Gir’s Gidardi village and are studying in a government school.

Goitre is a swelling in the neck resulting from an enlarged thyroid gland. Worldwide, the most common cause of goitre is iodine deficiency. The disease was detected in the children three years ago, but because the family struggled to get even two square meals a day, they couldn’t afford any treatment for the children. All the three children, the eldest being a class 8 student aged 15 years, have large tumours of 300 to 400 grams on their neck.

This is the first instance where three children from the same family will be treated under the school health programme. The SHP was launched to address the health needs of school going children and adolescents in the 6-18 year age groups in the government and government-aided schools. The programme entails biannual health screening and early management of disease, disability and common deficiency and linkages with secondary and tertiary health facilities as required.

The programme officer for Gujarat, Dr Shailesh Sutariya informed that the state health department will be taking care of the treatment of the children and will be taking them to Ahmedabad. An X-Ray will be taken of the tumor and then it will be operated upon at the Civil Hospital.