Health dept fails to cover over 4 lakh kids
JALANDHAR: In a shocking revelation, more than 4 lakh children, falling in the age group of 1 to 19 years, studying in district’s schools, were not administered deworming tablets, on the eve of National Deworming Day by the health department due to shortage of tablets.
As per the information, the Jalandhar health department had managed to distribute only around 1.4 lakh tablets among the children even when they were to cover about 5.37 lakh children across the district.
The health department had marked the Deworming Day on February 8, aiming to keep the children intestines free of worms.
A total of 5.37 lakh children in the age group of 1-19 years were identified to administrate Albendazole tablets in 1,498 governments and aided besides 702 private schools and all 1,654 Anganwari Centres across the district.
On requesting anonymity, a senior medical officer said, “The health department had identified 1.96 lakh children in government schools, 2.25 lakh children in private schools and 1.16 lakh children in Anganwadi Centres in the district, however, due to the shortage of supply, the health department could not achieve the target on Friday as the district had not received the proper supply of tablets from the headquarters.”
Civil surgeon Dr Rajesh Kumar Bagga said the department had distributed all the tablets as per the supply.
“We will cover the remaining children on February 14 as a special administration drive to administrate Albendazole (antiworm) tablets will also be carried out in the district. We will receive the required supply of tablets before February 14,” said the civil surgeon.
He said the anganwadi workers will give tablets to children at centres and the Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) workers will provide tablets to out-ofschool children to ensure that all children are covered.
The national deworming programme is an initiative of the ministry of health and family welfare, Government of India.
A senior doctor of the health department said, “The intestinal worms commonly affect the children, adversely impacting their educational performance and school attendance.”
He said such children often remain sick or too tired to concentrate on studies. The worms can also lead to anaemia, malnourishment and affect the mental ability of the child.