KATHMANDU, April 19: The two-day Vitamin ‘A’ capsule and de-worming tablet administration programme to children up to five years of age kicked off today.
Under the campaign, children from six months to five years are administrated Vitamin ‘A’ capsules and those children above one year to five years are given additional de-worming (albandazole) tablets. Similarly, the arm circumference of children is also measured simultaneously.
The programme remains as one of the highly prioritized event of the Ministry of Health and Population.
According to the Nutrition Section, the Department of Health Services, (approximately) 2,768,540 children from six months to five years of age are to be administered Vitamin ‘A’ supplements and 2,356,843 are given the de-worming tablets. The programme covers 41 districts. The measurement of the arm circumference is for knowing about nutritional status of a child. Following the implementation of federalism in the country, such programmes are being conducted by local levels.
Some 60,000 volunteers and health workers have been mobilised in 36,000 booths to conduct the campaign. The deficiency of Vitamin ‘A’ causes several sorts of health issues including night blindness, measles, diarrhea; chronic malnutrition and skin diseases on children. The administration of Vitamin ‘A’ supplements is helpful for prevention of such health problems, contributing to the child’s physical development and an increase of immune system. Similarly, the government is distributing Balvita (additional vitamin supplement) for those children at risk of malnutrition.
The nationwide campaign is conducted twice in a year - Baisakh 6-7 and Kattik 2-3 in the Nepali calendar every year.