Health dept fails to cover over 4 lakh kids

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - HTPUNJAB&HARYANA - Jatin­der Ma­hal jatin­[email protected]

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.

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