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State-wide campaign to control Diarrhoea from 28th of July

UNICEFRanchi, Jharkhand 26 July 2014 :: A State-wide campaign to control Diarrhoea and promote Breastfeeding practices will be launched from 28th of July. The campaign will be  jointly launched by the Departments of Health, Social Welfare and Education, with technical support of UNICEF. It has two phases with the first phase from 28th of July 2014 to 2nd of August 2014, focusing on diarrhoea control activities and the second phase from 4th to 8th of August on promoting breastfeeding practices for infants and children. The theme of the campaign is ‘Zero child deaths due to diarrhoea’.

 Detailing out the campaign, Dr. A K Chaudhary, Director, Health Services said that about 40,000 sahiyas will visit homes of 35 lakh children below 5 years in all villages in the state and provide ORS (oral rehydration salt) packets and Zinc tablets. “Besides, ORS and Zinc corners will be set up in all CHCs, District hospitals and medical colleges. Sahiyas will also identify severely malnourished children during their home visits and refer them to the malnutrition treatment centers (MTCs). In 40,000 schools in the state, hand washing with soap will be demonstrated, before children take the mid-day meal during the campaign. Every Sahiya will be paid one rupee per ORS distributed to children below five years at home” He added.

Lens Eye - News Portal - State-wide campaign to control Diarrhoea from 28th of July Dr. Chaudhary said that in the second phase of the campaign, sahiyas and anganwadisevikas will counsel mothers on correct breast feeding practices of Infants. He sought the support of media to spread the message on prevention and control of diarrhoea as well as on promoting correct breast feeding practices.

 Dr V S Prasad [ Director, Health Services ] emphasized on the importance of breastfeeding within one hour of birth and exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of birth, not giving water or any other pre-lacteals. He mentioned that breastfeeding can prevent 22% of neo-natal deaths and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and some cancers among mothers.

 Diarrhoea- killer of children. Three magic bullets to save children

Describing diarrhoea as a major killer of children below five years, Job Zachariah [ Chief of UNICEF in Jharkhand ] said that each year over 3 lakh children below five years are affected by diarrhoea in the state. Out of this, about 5,000 children die due to diarrhoea every year in Jharkhand. “The good news is that these child deaths can be prevented, as there are three magic bullets available to prevent and treat diarrhoea.
The first magic bullet is washing hands with soap before eating and after defecation, which will prevent diarrhoea.
The second is ORS and Zinc, which can effectively treat and prevent diarrhea.
The third magic bullet is breastfeeding within one hour of birth and exclusive breastfeeding in first 6 months of birth.” he said. Mr. Zachariah also stressed the need for safe drinking water and use of toilets to prevent diarrhoea.

 Apart from causing death of children, repeated diarrhoeal episodes result in weight loss and malnutrition in children. In the case of malnourished children, diarrhoea worsens the condition. Diarrhoea causes loss of man days; reduces production and productivity; and affects attendance of children in schools. The worst affected are malnourished children and children under two years of age. Diarrhoeal episodes usually happen during summer and monsoon months.

 Dr. Ajit Kumar Prasad, Deputy director, Health said that steps have been taken to ensure availability of ORS and zinc with all Sahiyas and ANMs and in sub centres, CHCs, PHCs and hospitals. “Frontline workers are being oriented on the campaign” he said.

Rajeev Ranjan, Assistant Director, Directorate of Social Welfare outlined the week long activities planned at over 38000 aanganwadi centers across the state for community mobilization, counseling and promotion of breastfeeding at the village level. Mr. Sanjay Kumar, Assistant Director, of the Directorate said that thecampaign will be held with the support of community, panchayati raj members and frontline workers of other departments in the village.

Diarrhoea control – campaign at a glance

  • Fortnight-long campaign begins on 28 July. First phase on 28 July- 2 August is on diarrhoea control and second phase on 4-8 August on promoting breastfeeding practices.
  • Campaign covers 35 lakh children below 5 years in the state.
  • ORS packets to be provided to all families with children below 5 years and Zinc tablets to all diarrhoea affected children.
  • ORS and Zinc corners will be set up in all hospitals.
  • Hand washing with soap to be demonstrated in all 40,000 schools before mid -day meal.
  • Over 3 lakh children below five years are affected by diarrhoea every year, out of which over 5,000 children die annually.
  • Hand washing with soap and drinking safe water can prevent diarrhoea. It can be treated by giving ORS, Zinc and extra fluid.
  • Continue feeding and breastfeeding when children are affected by diarrhoea.
  • Take the child to a medical facility in case of watery stools, repeated vomiting, drink poorly, fever and blood in stool.
  • Children are infected by diarrhoea through contaminated food or water.

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