Multi-sectoral participation at various governance levels for better impacts like mass awareness generation, rallies, and competitions in schools will be beneficial in achieving this target- Dr.BharatiPravinPawar
Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Dr BharatiPravinPawar today launched the Intensified Diarrhoea Control Fortnight (IDCF)-2022 in the presence of Dr.SapamRanjan Singh, Health Minister of Manipur. IDCF programme is being implemented from 13th June to 27th June, 2022 in the States/UTs. The goal of IDCF is to attain zero child deaths due to childhood diarrhoea.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State said that “as a result of the commendable efforts of Government of India led by Hon'ble Prime Minister, according to the latest report of SRS-2019, child mortality rate in the country has come down considerably since 2014. This rate has come down from 45 per 1000 live births in 2014 to 35 per 1000 live births in 2019. But even today, diseases related to diarrhoea continue to be a major cause of death in children under the age of five”, she added.
Dr.Pawar highlighted that “dehydration is the biggest cause of diarrhoea in children and other reasons include a change in the baby's diet to make up for a change in the mother's diet when breastfeeding; Use of antibiotics by the baby, or use by the mother while breastfeeding, or any type of bacterial or parasitic infection.”
Signifying the importance of prevention and mitigation methods, Dr.Pawar said that “According to the latest survey (NFHS-5) conducted by the Ministry, only 60.6% children under the age of five with diarrhoea were given ORS and only 30.5% were given zinc. This means that there is lack of awareness among mothers.” She stressed on more awareness campaigns so that the rate of child mortality due to diarrhoea can be brought down to the minimum level.
Noting the resolve and commitment of the Union Government towards this end, she stated that the Intensive Diarrhoea Control Fortnight (IDCF) is being organized since 2014 with an objective to 'bringing the number of deaths due to diarrhoea in childhood to zero'. In view of the high prevalence of diarrhoea, this fortnight is organized especially during summer/monsoon so that preventive measures can be taken. She further said that “a Multi-sectoral participation approach at various governance levels for better impacts like mass awareness generation, rallies, competitions in schools, State and District level launch by leaders etc. will be beneficial in achieving our target.” Dr.Pawar said that diarrhoea can be prevented through safe drinking water, breastfeeding/appropriate nutrition, hygiene and hygiene measures like hand-washing etc. This has also been emphasized through initiatives like Swachh Bharat Mission. These small behavioural changes have significantly helped India in reducing infant mortality rate, he noted.
IDCF consists of a set of activities to be implemented in an intensified manner for prevention and control of deaths due to dehydration from diarrhoea across all States & UTs. These activities mainly include intensification of advocacy & awareness generation activities for diarrhoea management, strengthening service provision for diarrhoea case management, establishment of ORS-Zinc corners, prepositioning of ORS by ASHA in households with under-five children and awareness generation activities for hygiene and sanitation.
One of the main activities under IDCF program has been the activities by field workers including ASHA, ANM and anganwadi workers. Field workers visit the homes of families with children below five years of age and provide counselling in case of diarrhoea for distribution of zinc and ORS sachets. They also promote sanitation practices, breastfeeding practices and advise on preparation method of ORS through group meetings among mothers.
Shri Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary (Health), Ms. Roli Singh, Additional Secretary, Shri P. Ashok Babu, Joint Secretary, Union health Ministry, Shri V. Vumlunmang Principal Secretary Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of Manipur, and senior officials from States/UTs were present in the meeting.