A grade 1 student in the Purple Centers’ in-house school for most disadvantaged children surrenders to sleep. Teachers understand the difficult situations that their students come from and that many of them work after school and the night hours to have food the next day.
How do teachers compete with hunger, malnutrition, exhaustion and illness in the classroom? The Purple Centers helps address students’ health and nutrition needs through feeding programs, health checkups, and medical services.
Our health program is focused on preventing and addressing malnutrition among students and their families. The project cycle has three phases of implementation, beginning in 2016 during the summer school break.
Phase 1: Identification of Malnutrition Cases. The first phase of the project is focused on the collection and analyses of data gathered from students who were underweight during the previous school year (2015-16) and upon registration for the new school year (June 2016). Based on this list, our Purple Center nurses conduct weekly home visits to the most serious case to assess the families needs, deliver healthy food supplements based on household size, and monitor the body mass index (height and weight) of all household members. Food supplementation is a promotive, preventive and rehabilitative intervention to provide the much-needed calories and protein, vitamins and minerals to those whose weights are below normal. Based on the initial data, household profiles are developed.
Phase 2: Getting Healthy. Social, health and medical interventions are carried out based on the household profiles and health screening of family members. This include deworming, family health screening, diagnostic tests as-needed and treatment of all medical conditions in the family.
Phase 3: Staying Healthy. As families get healthy, they are learn how to take better care of their health and cook nutritious, affordable low-budget meals through our community kitchen approach—a new intervention in 2016. The community kitchen approach, conducted at the Purple Centers in Tondo, will improve their knowledge, perceptions and practices related to nutrition, food preparation, menu planning, cooking and other topics to raise the family value of healthy and nutrition.
Over the course of the first year of the program, 2016-17, the program aims for earlier identification of health issues and more holistic treatment of malnutrition by involving social work and education staff while the nurses shift to more home and community-based approaches. Supporting the health and nutrition of students contributes to the learning potential and performance of students in the various PCF educational program.
A student of the in-house school to help children get healthy and ready for public school integration finishes one of two meals provided to students of the school daily.