Thursday, 31 July 2014

Intensified Diarrhea Control Fortnight campaign, UNICEF

July 28th, 2014, Jacaranda Hall, India Habitat Centre (IHC). I was in New Delhi attending an event coined as Intensified Diarrhea Control Fortnight campaign mooted by our Hon'ble Union Minster of Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, with the alliance of UNICEF and several other world wide organizations like Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, WHO, USAID India etc.

One out of every five children die because of diarrhea. The main squeeze of the campaign is to slice down the child mortality rate happens due to diarrhea. According to the health department, the disease remains the topmost concern for children deaths aged under five. If we look at exact calculations, it makes up for about 11% of under five deaths for children across the country. Almost 2 lakhs children die because of diarrhea.

Seeing through a clear picture, diarrhea is not a complex disease that can not be dealt with. Embracing the standard ways of hygiene and enough awareness about the treatment can easily lead to solve the problem. Preventive bars can be put on the disease by following simple steps like drinking clean water, healthy practices for sanitation, breastfeeding and washing hands before and after meals. It is as simple as that.

The event witnessed several addresses from important figures. The welcome address was given by Shri R.K. Jain (As & DG). Dr. Rakesh Kumar, JS (RCH) spoke keenly on Tackling the forgotten killer- Diarrhea. Prof. Mathuram Santosham, JHSPH highlighted Historical Perspective and global experience on ORS and Diarrhea control. UNICEF India representative, Mr. Louis George Asenault, focused on the issue with elaborated keys and factors.

Union Minster, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, spoke about how imperative is to curb this disease before it floods out the entire country. Keeping up with optimum hygiene standards is enough to keep it at bay. We saw some short videos that stressed on -

  • Washing hands before and after every meal
  • Using secured and clean toilets 
  • Breastfeeding children for better and improved immune system etc. 

All in all, it was clear that diarrhea is not a big issue that needs voluptuous amount of energy, time and complicated strategies. Its treatment requires easy simple steps when followed can easily give the disease desired outcome.

Another addressee at the event were WHO India Representative, Dr. Nata Menabde; Secretary of Health and Family Welfare, Mr. Lov Verma and at the end, vote of thanks by Dr. Ajay Khera, Deputy Commissioner. Then there was media interaction where questions pertaining to the campaign were asked and being answered.

When I headed out, I saw ORS stall where demonstrations were bring given. I grew curious and reached the stall. There I was told how to take Zinc supplement with ORS. I even had a Zinc (Zn) tablet too mixed in about a spoonful of water. It is very important to take Zinc with ORS in diarrhea. I tasted Zinc. Frankly speaking, it was bitter in taste but good things always taste bitter. It is their outcome that work sweet and good.

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