In a bid to ensure that clean drinking water is provided to school children, the health department will launch a special drive to collect water samples from academic institutions.
The drive will begin with government schools when they reopen after the summer vacations. Later, the drive will be conducted in the city’s 600 private schools as well.
Every year, a large number of school children fall prey to water-borne diseases like diarrhoea and gastroenteritis.
The health department has formed 10 teams which would collect water samples from city schools and make sure that students get clean drinking water.
Last month, water samples collected from a government school in a Gurgaon village had failed the potability test, putting a big question mark on the hygiene standards adopted in government schools.
“Initially, we will focus on government schools. But, private schools will also be covered in this special drive. Ten teams consisting of medical officers will collect samples from across the district,” said Dr Parveen Garg, chief medical officer.
“The step would certainly curtail the number of diarrhoea cases among children,” he further said.
After collection of samples, a report would be submitted to the head of the school so that the necessary step can be taken to ensure that water tanks are cleaned. With the current temperature and humidity conditions being optimum for microbial growth, viral gastroenteritis can be caused by eating contaminated food and drinking contaminated water.
Every day, nearly 10-12 diarrhoea cases are reported at the Civil Hospital. The scene is no different at private hospitals too.
“If the water provided in schools is contaminated, child are prone to food poisoning, hepatitis, jaundice, typhoid and dysentery,” Dr Ashutosh Shukla, director (internal medicine) at Artemis Health Institute, said while admiring the health department’s initiative.
“The only way to ensure that potable drinking water is being provided is by collecting samples on regular basis,” he added.