DW BUREAU / CHANDIGARH
Childhood diarrhoea disease continues to be a major killer among under-five children, contributing to about 10 per cent of under-five deaths in the country. About 80 children die due to diarrhea every month in Punjab. Almost all the deaths due to diarrhoea can be averted by preventing and treating dehydration by the use of ORS (Ora1 Rehydration Solution) and administration of Zinc tablets along with adequate nutritional intake by the child during diarrhoea.
To effectively address this with the ultimate aim of zero mortality due to diarrheal disease, Intensified Diarrhoea Control Fortnight (IDCF) is being implemented for the last five years, reaching out to millions of children.In 2019 also, it has been decided to observe IDCF from July 8 to 23 to intensify efforts towards reducing deaths due to diarrhoea among under-5 children. This was disclosed here today by Satish Chandra, Additional Chief Secretary (Health and Medical Education), Punjab, while chairing an inter-sectoral meeting of Department of Health, Education, Water and Sanitation, Rural Development and representatives from USAID-Vriddhi. He said that during IDCF, several activities will be carried out which includes intensification of advocacy and awareness generation activities for diarrhoea management, strengthening service provision for diarrhoea case management, establishment of ORS-Zinc comers, distribution of ORS by ASHA to households with under-five children and awareness generation activities for sanitation and hygiene. He exhorted the key stakeholder departments to coordinate with Department of Health in effective implementation of Intensified Diarrhoea Control Fortnight. Chandra further informed that IDCF secretariat has been established in DHS, Punjab office Chandigarh and Dr IJS Bhatia is nodal officer. He asked department officers to conduct house marking for ORS packet distribution and Supply of ORS in all the aanganwaries and maintain adequate stock of these medicines in advance.