Bhubaneswar Focusingon the importance of de-worming and 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 organized apress conference just ahead of the bi-annual round of National Deworming Day campaign and vitamin A supplementation programme on February 4, 2019. Participants included Director-Family Welfare, Dr.Lingaraj Mishra,Director- SIHFW, Dr.BipinBihari Panigrahi, Director- Health Services Dr.HaraprasadPattnaik.
Addressing the media, Dr. Lingaraj Mishra said, “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 February 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.“Any child who is not dewormed on National Deworming Day (8th February 2019) due to sickness or absenteeism will be administered the tablet on 14th February 2019 (Mop up Day)”. “Further, in four districts (Angul, Bhadrak, Ganjam and Nayagarh) 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 by the Drug Administrators”. “Apart from the above programmes the state government is also going to implement bi- annual Vitamin A supplementation campaign in the month of February 2019. Under this programme all children from 9 months to 5 years will be administered age specific vitamin A dose at the RI session sites and Special VHNDs in all 30 districts of the state during the month of February 2019”,he added.
The Director, State Institute of Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Bipin Bihari Panigrahiemphasized the importance of mass awareness about the campaign. “To generate public awareness information and communication materials have been specially developed in Odia (with support of UNICEF). To increase the reach to the public, print/electronic messageshave been developed and disseminated.”