Middle Childhood Health (An Empirical Study of Pasi Children)

1st Edition ISBN#: 978-81-934349-4-9
Category: Anthropological Studies

Authors

Nirja Singh

Abstract

The middle childhood years are a unique developmental time when children undergo critical physical, cognitive, and social changes. This is the age of critical development falling between infancy and adolescence. Monitoring of growth and development during middle childhood is important for improving overall health. Further, culturally based interventions are known to have better success rate in improving access to and utlilization of health services. Health and development research has largely focused on early childhood (i.e., 0–5 years old) and adolescence (12–17 years old). Very little is known about health and functioning during middle childhood. This has been due to critical development occurring in the first five years of life and high morbidity and mortality accompanying risky behavior in adolescence. But there are substantial health issues in middle childhood which need increased focus. The book is based on the empirical study done between the years 2011 to 2012, under UGC (University Grants Commission) aid. It is a holistic study of middle childhood health among the Pasi Children of Lucknow. The Pasi is a scheduled caste found in the states of Bihar, Haryana, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Delhi in India and Terai region of Nepal. Content of the book is divided into seven chapters. Chapter-1 which is introductory in approach, deals with aim and objectives rationale for the study and interdisciplinary relevance of the topic. Chapter-2 contains a review of the relevant literature on childhood health, with special reference to middle childhood and children of lower socio-economic background. Chapter-3 deals with research methodology. While in the Chapter-4, the detailed account of the universe of research, i.e., the city of Lucknow and the sample have been given. Chapter-5 is the description of the personal characteristics and socio-economic background of the Pasi children selected for the study. It includes age, sex, educational level, occupation, family structure, number of siblings, parent’s educational & occupational level, family income, pattern of residence and other variables. Chapter-6 deals with the conditions of health and environment, status of health problems of the Pasi children, prevalent system of medicine and choice of medicine. The chapter also discusses the status of general awareness among the parents about the health care and other facilities provided by the government and other institutions. Chapter-7 is a discussion of the health status of the Pasi children on the basis of the interpretation of anthropometric measurements. Actual stature, weight and body measurements including skinfolds, girths, and breadths have been collected here for purposes of assessing growth and body fat distribution. The mean values of the various measurements are compared with the recent available national and international data to present the health status of the Pasi children in local, national and global perspective. Chapter-8 is divided into two sections. Major findings of the study and conclusion have been given in its first section. The second section of this chapter throws light on the strategies to develop a positive attitude towards middle childhood health among poor and other weaker section, especially for scheduled castes. On the basis of analysis various suggestions have been given to initiate effective programmes that help the children and their families. It is suggested that the community, the government and the NGOs should work in co-ordination with active participation of the senior citizens. This study shall have important implications in the field of Anthropology, Nutrition and Growth, Medicine, Sociology, Social Work and Public Health. This research can play a critical role in response to global health challenges. The research shall help in understanding how access to health services can be improved successfully.

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