Health authorities in Hailakandi, Assam are gearing up to launch Intensified Diarrhoea Control Fortnight (IDCF) programme targeting children below five years of age.

Under the programme, to be launched on May 28 and to be continued till June 9, ASHA workers will distribute Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) packets in each household which has children aged below five years. Nearly 85,868 under five years of age will be covered during the fortnight-long campaign across the district to raise awareness about diarrhoea.

It plans to hold intensified community awareness campaigns on hygiene and promotion of ORS and zinc at community, facility and village levels.

These decisions were taken at a district level orientation meeting on upcoming IDCF programme attended by in-charge of Block PHCs, superintendent, SK Roy Civil Hospital, DIO, BPMU and DPMU officials and functionaries at GNM Training School in Hailakandi town on Monday.

Officials said the programme was aimed at preventing diarrhoeal deaths, as it is one of the commonest causes of deaths among children. Almost all the deaths due to diarrhoea can be averted by preventing and treating dehydration by use of ORS, administration of zinc tablets along with adequate nutritional intake by the child. Diarrhoea can be prevented with safe drinking water, sanitation, breastfeeding, appropriate nutrition and hand-washing.

Diarrhoea claims the lives of an estimated 1.1 lakh children in India every year. However, the country has realised impressive gains in child survival over the past two decades registering consistent decline in IMR and Under-Five Mortality Rates (U5MR). Increased accesses to immunisation and child health care services during this period have greatly contributed to this decline.

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