Haufiku offers free health screenings for teachers, pupils

GIVING BACK … Dr Bernard Haufiku and his medical team provided free general check-ups to 280 pupils and 27 teachers at the Zanele Mbeki Private School in Grysblok, Katutura. Photo: Contributed

About 280 pupils and 27 teachers at the Zanele Mbeki Private School at Grysblok, Katutura, were offered a general health check-up by Dr Bernard Haufiku this month.

According to the school’s principal, Patience Magwewe, Haufiku sacrificed his time to take care of the school pupils and teachers at no cost.

Magwewe said Haufiku and his medical team sacrificed more than six working days out of their busy schedule to attend to the school.

“He gave out timely medical reports, advice, health education, psychological support and after medical check-ups. He has taught us that not everything in life is done in exchange for money. When humanity is embraced we offer love as a free gift after all,” she said.

Magwewe added that the staff members, pupils and parents embraced the donation with gratitude.

She said Haufiku promised to take the school on a research journey for hepatitis B, if he manages to get resources.

According to Haufiku, almost all pupils are generally in good health.

“Over 90% are above 90 percentile (growth and nourishment measurements). Two or three pupils’ weight was above the expected normal range for age and gravitating towards overweight,” he said.

Haufiku noted generally good dental health, with only three pupils out of the 60 examined (5%) showing severe dental problems.

He said the number of pupils with umbilical hernias range from relatively small ones to a fairly large one.

“We picked up about 7 out of 60 learners examined for the day, which is rather significant for such a small population sample.

Interestingly, these pupils with umbilical (belly button) hernias are completely unrelated and from different language groups in Namibia,” he said.

He said this could be representative of the general prevalence of umbilical hernias in the general population in Namibia, which may warrant a population-based study.

“We picked up pockets of what seem to be cases of recurrent tonsillitis in four out of 60 screened pupils representing 6,6 %, while 3% of learners who have bronchial asthma are on treatment.

“We could, unfortunately, not screen for hearing loss and visual impairment, as we did not have the necessary tools to do so, but there is a case for screening for these ailments as they are fairly common in Namibia even in childhood and due to a variety of causes, including genetic causes,” he added.

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