Promoting the use of ORS and zinc tablets to tackle diarrhoea during the monsoons, the West Bengal government is trying to reach around 70-75 lakh children during the ongoing diarrhoea control fortnight. Kicked off from Budge Budge near Kolkata this week, the programme focuses on creating awareness on diarrhoea control by promoting the use of ORS (Oral Rehydration Salts) and zinc tablets.
“The actual use of zinc and ORS is not very high in the state and so we are trying to promote that. Frontline workers of ASHA (Accredited social health activists) are going house to house to distribute zinc tablets in families having children below five years. It is also being provided in hospitals,” Dr Kaninika Mitra, health specialist at UNICEF, told PTI.
The state government is working with UNICEF for implementing the programme. “We are trying to reach around 70-75 lakh children through this campaign,” she said. On the prevention side, they are focusing on washing of hands, maintaining hygiene, use of toilets, breastfeeding, etc. The second week of the campaign would focus on feeding of infants and young children.
“We will have breastfeeding corners at all hospitals where mothers would be taught how to breastfeed in the right manner,” Mitra said. The diarrhoea control fortnight coincides with ORS Day on July 29 and World Breastfeeding Week held every year from August 1 to 7. In West Bengal, the prevalence of diarrhoea is low but the use of ORS and zinc tablets is also low, making children vulnerable.
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