Bhubaneswar: Drawing attention to importance of de-worming in ensuring better health & improved nutritional status of all children aged 1-19 years, the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Odisha in collaboration with UNICEF organised a press meet just ahead of the bi-annual round of National Deworming Day campaign and vitamin A supplementation programme on 6 August 2019. Participants included Director, Family Welfare, Director, SIHFW, Director, Public Health, and Director, Health Services.
Regular deworming prevents children from intestinal parasitic worms that can lead to anaemia, malnutrition, impaired mental, physical & cognitive development and reduced school participation. Under the August round of the National Deworming Day bi-annual campaign, the Odisha government aims to reach approximately 1.3 crore children from 1 to 19 years across all 30 districts, in convergence with major government departments: Health &FW, WCD& MS, S&ME, Panchayati Raj& DW and ST. & SC Development, Minorities and Backward Classes Welfare Department.
Addressing the media, Director, Family Welfare, “Given the importance of deworming of children, any child who is not dewormed on National Deworming Day (8th August 2019) due to sickness or absenteeism will be administered the tablet on 16th August 2019(Mop-up Day).” “In addition, the state government will implement the bi-annual Vitamin A supplementation campaign in August 2019. Under this programme all children from 9 months to 5 years will be administered age-specific vitamin A dose at the Routine Immunization session sites,” he added.
The Director, Public Health, Government of Odisha, said, “In five districts (Balasore, Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Khorda and Nuapada) where there is a prevalence of Lymphatic Filariasis, we are combining the NDD round with Lymphatic Filariasis- Mass Drug Administration campaign (LF-MDA) through door-to-door visits. This will cover the eligible population two years old and above.”
The Director, State Institute of Health & Family Welfare, emphasised the importance of mass awareness about the campaign. “To generate public awareness information and communication materials for NDD have been specially developed in Odia, with support from UNICEF. This includes materials like radio jingles, wall paintings, TV spots, posters, and social media infographics. Further, to mobilise children in private schools, a special package of information material has been developed.