Globally, diarrhoea is the fourth biggest killer of children under the age of five, but it is third biggest killer in India. Statistics reveal that it is responsible for 13 per cent of all deaths per year for children under 5 years of age. The study published by The Lancet, reveals that India contributes to the highest number of diarrhoea deaths globally.
The central government is implementing Intensified Diarrhoea Control Fortnight from June 12 to June 24 with an aim to achieve zero childhood deaths due to childhood diarrhoea.
Intensified Diarrhoea Control Fortnight (IDCF) consists of a set of activities to be implemented in an intensified manner for prevention and control of deaths due to dehydration from diarrhoea across all States and union territories.
These activities mainly include – intensification of advocacy and awareness generation activities for diarrhoea management, strengthening service provision for diarrhoea case management, establishment of ORS – Zinc corners, prepositioning of ORS by ASHA in households with under-five children and awareness generation activities for hygiene and sanitation.
India has made steady progress in reducing deaths in children younger than 5 years, with total deaths declining from 2.5 million in 2001 to 1.5 million in 2012. But, still problem of child mortality looms large.
- Around 2 lakh children die due to diarrhoea in the country every year.
- Majority of diarrhoea cases are seen in summer and monsoon months.
- Malnourished children and children less than two years of age are the worst affected.
- As per National Family and Health Survey, usage of ORS during diarrhoeal episode is even less than 50 per cent.
Vinod Shende, associated with Jan Arogya Abhiyan said, “The problem is very much present in brick kilns, nomadic sites, migrant settlements, small villages etc. People are not yet aware about things like ORS. Problem of bad hygiene is still very much present in rural areas. Raising awareness among people is the only solution to reduce the burden.”
Strategy for the IDCF given by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
The focus of IDCF is on delivery of simple proven interventions that have large impact towards control of childhood diarrhoeal morbidity and mortality. The IDCF strategy is three folds, as below:
- Improved availability and use of ORS and Zinc at the community
- Facility level strengthening to manage cases of dehydration
- Enhanced advocacy and communication on prevention and control of diarrhoea through IEC campaign.
At community / village level
- Distribution of ORS and demonstration
- IPC activities by ANM on hygiene and sanitation along with management of diarrhoea
- Hand washing demonstration in schools
- Mobile health teams for urban areas
At health facility level
- Establishment of ORS and Zinc corners for treatment of diarrhoea
- Promote standard case management of diarrhoeal cases
- Cleaning of water tanks in health facilities
- All under-five children along with their mothers/ care-givers
- Under 5 years children suffering from diarrhoea