Surjit Kumar Jyani, Health and Family Welfare Minister, Punjab here today stated that the 2nd dose of tablet Albendazole will be given to approximately 28 lakhs students studying in Govt. and Govt. aided Schools & girls registered in anganwari centers in the state on De-Worming Day on November 15. Minister has appealed to the parents of the children that tablet Albendazole would be given to save the children from ill effects of worm infestation, control anaemia and to keep these children healthy. He added that medical check-up of Government. and Government aided schools and Anganwari students is done in the state and children suffering from various ailments are referred to Govt. hospitals for free treatment.
Jyani said that even spectacles are given to children with refractory error and 55664 free spectacles were given during the year 2012-13 and 12000 are given during 2013-14 till August, 2013.Health Minister further stated that students found suffering from Rheumatic Heart Diseases or Congenital Heart Diseases are treated free in PGIMER, Chandigarh and private empanelled hospitals. He said that 2190 students suffering from RHD/CHD had been referred till date and 1231 students operated upon a cost of RS. 974.15 lakhs by the Government.Jayani further said that 349 students suffering from cancer have been referred to PGIMER, Chandigarh, Mohan Dai Oswal Cancer Hospital, Ludhiana and CMC Ludhiana for free treatment and 452.11 lakhs have been spent on their treatment. “As far as treatment of Thalassaemia is concerned 185 cases have been referred to various Thalassemic Societies in Punjab and Rs 16.48 lakhs have been spent on them till September, 2013”, said Jyani.
Vini Mahajan, Principal Secretary Health, Medical Education & Research, Punjab informed that health education is imparted to students and teachers to prevent anaemia, mal-nutrition and to follow good nutrition practices. Children are screened for moderate and severe anaemia and referred to a health facility for free treatment. All children are given weekly IFA tablets i.e. 52 tablets per year and two tablets of Albendazole at the interval of 6 months per year under Weekly Iron Folic Supplement (WIFS) Programme by Health Department. She said anaemia can be prevented by taking IFA tablet regularly.Dr Karanjit Singh, Director Health Services (Family Welfare), Punjab said that according to National Programme Health Survey- III, 55% adolescent girls and 30% boys are reportedly suffering from aneamia in India. Mal-nutrition, lack of balanced diet and worm infestation are the main causes of anaemia. Anaemia makes children lethargic and irritable and they develop poor concentration, learning disability, stunted growth and decreased capacity to work.