Plan to curb diarrhoeal deaths among kids

Kathmandu, September 9:

With the objective of decreasing diarrhoeal deaths among the children aged under five years, the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) is planning to provide them with zinc supplements and administer oral rehydrating solution (ORS) from the next year. The three-year programme will be the first of its kind in South Asia. “The MoHP is piloting the programme, under which zinc sulphate tablets will be given to the children suffering from diarrhoea, in five districts lying in five development regions,” said Dr Yasovardan Pradhan, the director at the Child Health Division of the Ministry of Health. “Zinc sulphate will help check death of children suffering from severe dehydration,” said Dr Sun Lal Thapa, the programme manager at the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) unit of the Child Health Division, which is launching the programme. “Zinc supplement will control loose motions as well.”

Depending upon cases, zinc sulphate tablets will be given to children for 10 to 30 days. “We plan to launch the programme across the nation within five years.” Dr Pradhan said different organisations, including the WHO, the UNICEF, the USAID, and the JICA will lend their support to the programme. “Though awareness drives have helped decrease diarrhoeal deaths among the children, a lot needs to be done to achieve the millennium development goals.”

According to the Sanitation Report 2000, 28,000 children die of diarrhoea every year.