PRIVATE SCHOOLS REFRAIN FROM ADMINISTERING ‘ALBENDAZOLE’ TO STUDENTS
Friday, 16 February 2018 | PNS | Dehradun-
As expected most of the private schools refrained from administering anti- helmith drug ‘Albendazole’ to the students in the schools. Many private schools completed formality by handing over the tablet provided by the health department to the students asking them to gulp down it at home.
As part of the de worming drive, the state health department and National Health Mission (NHM) had targeted a total of 40 Lakh students in the state for administering Albendazole. The de-worming day was held on February 10; on the day all Government schools participated in the programme with enthusiasm and completed the desired targets.
In view of the high prevalence of helminths among children of Uttarakhand (it is as high as 68 percent) the State health department and the NHM decided to include the private schools in the drive this year. The enthusiasm of these schools in recently concluded Measles Rubella (MR) campaign also instilled hope among the authorities about their participation in the drive.
The private schools however cold shouldered the idea as the spectre of children falling ill after consuming the Albendazole disturbed them. The Pioneer in its addition of February 10 had mentioned about reluctance of private schools in de-worming drive.
To add to the woes of the department most of the private schools remained closed on February 10 due to Saturday. The authorities then changed the date of de worming in these schools on Monday February 11. On insistence of the authorities, the private schools handed over tablet to the students and asked them to take it under observation of their parents.
A senior official of health department confirmed that the participation of these schools was very poor in the drive. “Handing over the tablet to the students for consumption at home defeats the very purpose of the de worming drive. The tablet had to be consumed in presence of teachers,’’ he said.
When contacted the mission director NHM, Yugal Kishore Pant also accepted that asking students to take the tablets at home is wrong. He said that the health system remains more prepared to tackle any ill effects of medicine on the children in the schools. Pant added that the department would now hold counselling sessions with the private school operators about the drive. He however claimed that the drive was successful.
Under the campaign children between the ages I – 2 were given half tablet while children between age 2 to 19 would be administered one tablet. The doctors term Albendazole as a safe drug which helps in effective de-worming.
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