Approach to problem-solving questions where you are ‘MO of a PHC’

This article is in response to a query from a student. I have written in a general manner about problem-solving questions previously (links at the end of this article), so will offer more specific guidance here.

Background Information:

MO: Medical Officer

PHC: Primary Health Centre

NGO: Non-Governmental Organization

Key Messages

For this illustrative example, I will use the following question:

as MO of a PHC ,prepare a project to improve nutritional status of children in the schools under your jurisdiction

The above type of problem-solving question requires application of the planning cycle to the specific problem mentioned in the question.

Here the problem is improving the nutritional status of children in schools within a PHC area.

Improving nutritional status implies that there is malnutrition among school children. Although most often malnutrition indicates under-nutrition, it also includes over-nutrition.

The first task is to gather health data. In this case, one needs the following information:

  • How many schools are there?
  • Of these, how many are public (Government)/ private?
  • How many primary/secondary/high schools are there?
  • What is the total student population?

Since the question pertains to nutrition, one needs to also know

Public schools:

Is the mid-day meal scheme/ programme implemented? If yes, in how many schools? If no, why not?

How many children (0-6 years) are enrolled in various Anganwadis within the PHC area?

Is the Weekly Iron and Folic Acid Scheme implemented?, etc.

Private schools:

Do they have a canteen/ provide meals to students?

All schools:

What is the number of male and female students respectively?

Do the schools conduct regular school health checkups? What conditions are included in the school health checkup? Are the records available for scrutiny?, etc.

In addition, one will have to access records of all anganwadi centres and sub-centres.

Essentially, one has to think of all the sources of relevant data pertinent to the question.


1 thought on “Approach to problem-solving questions where you are ‘MO of a PHC’

  1. Pingback: Problem-solving questions: Epidemiological study design or Investigation of an epidemic? | communitymedicine4all

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