State Government’s plan to distribute free iron tablets to students from class 6 to 12 to check anemia will harm children’s health and will only benefit drug manufacturers, naturopath Jacob Vadakkanchery said here on Monday.
“There is a misconception that vitamin tablets can be distributed like toffees. But most of these tablets can cause serious harm to children’s liver and kidneys,” Jacob told a news conference.
“It is wrong to believe that anemia in children can be cured by consuming iron tablets. The Tamil Nadu Government recently stopped distribution of iron tablets after six children died and many were hospitalised after consuming it,” he said.
Quoting from K D Tripathi’s ‘Essentials of Medical Pharmacology,’ a textbook prescribed for medical students, Jacob said that it gave details about the adverse effects of oral iron.
“The text says that administration of oral iron can cause epigastric pain, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, staining of teeth, metallic taste, blotting and so on,” Jacob Vadakkanchery said.
He also said that iron sorbitol injection can cause damage to heart and in some cases, even death.“The government should understand that the effects of such vitamin tablets are varied for each child. Instead of helping drug manufacturers, the government should raise awareness on the importance of consuming healthy food among children,” he said.
Instead of distributing iron tablets, the government should promote food items such as beans, leafy vegetables, gingelly and so on among children, he said.