Children with vitamin A deficiency yet to get supplements

Published: 10th September 2012 09:49 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th September 2012 09:49 AM   |  A+A-

 Nearly 90 per cent of Vitamin A deficient (VAD) children studying in Classes I to X in Bidar are yet to receive supplementation under the Suvarna Arogya Chaitanya (SAC) programme.

 The situation appears equally dismal in other districts like Kolar where as many as 480 children out of the 992 detected with the deficiency are still untreated.

 Shimoga has around 45 per cent children still suffering from VAD, according to reports of the health check-ups carried out across the state by the directorate as of March 2011-2012.

 When Express contacted Health Commissioner Anjum Parwez, he was not aware of the issue.

 “I will ask district officials concerned to look into it and make sure that the children receive coverage treatment right away,” he said.

 Joint Director (Medical) Dr B V Karur, who is in-charge of the SAC programme, downplayed the deficiency of Vitamin A and said that the children needed to consume fruits and food rich in the vitamin.

 The SAC programme started in 2006-07 under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) conducts medical examinations for school children from Class I to X in government, aided and unaided schools across the state.

 The SAC is carried out in cooperation with the Department of Public Instruction along with the Health Department.

 Despite the oral administration of Vitamin A along with the Measles vaccine under the National Vitamin A Programme, it continues to remain a public health concern.

 While the number of Vitamin A deficient children has become more than two fold since last year in Bangalore Urban, the situation in districts that have the highest number of malnourished and undernourished children are far from upsetting.

 According to the report, all the 612 Vitamin A deficient children in Raichur have been treated with supplements.

 Similarly, 228 out of the 233 children in Bagalkot, 788 out of the 807 children in Belgaum, all the 1566 children in Haveri among other districts have received the treatment.

 The SAC programme for the current year is in progress, said health officials.

 Dr M Thimmappa, Retired Officer of the Health Department, Bangalore Urban noted that for children, supplementation of Vitamin A through regular dietary intake is very essential irrespective of the prophylaxis during immunisation at infancy.



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