About 10 per cent schoolchildren, including those enrolled at anganwari centres, are suffering from severe anaemia in the district, reveal? data collected by the health department from April to June.
Health officials under the school health programme screened as many as 14,743 schoolchildren of which 1,411 students — 779 girls and 632 boys — were tested positive for severe anaemia which clearly indicates that girls are more prone to the disease.
Moreover, 13 per cent of schoolchildren were found suffering from vitamin-A deficiency, skin conditions, congenital cataract, congenital deafness and 15 other diseases.
The department has prepared its quarterly report after conducting regular medical check-ups on children studying in primary and secondary classes in the district.
Schoolchildren are being distributed iron and folic acid tablets free of cost to improve haemoglobin level in blood.
Moreover, haemoglobin level among the girl students was found between 7-9 gm (should be minimum 12 gm), which is again a matter of concern.
The report reveals that in April this year, 532 students, including 317 girls, were anaemic while 32 students, including 18 girls, were found vitamin-A deficient.
In May, 849 students, including 444 girls, were found anaemic while 27 students, including 16 girls, were found vitamin-A deficient.
As many as 21 per cent children up to six years of age at anganwari centers were found severe anaemic.
A school health programme team has sent the report to senior officials, including the civil surgeon and the district health officer, in this connection.
The team screened 141 children at anganwari centres. Nine children were found suffering from skin diseases while one had congenital cataract.
A senior doctor said anaemia continues to be one of the major public health problems, especially among teenage girls.
It enhances the risk of pre-term delivery and having babies with low-birth weight and they are likely to be ill and die even before one year.
Civil surgeon Dr RL Bassan said, "We distribute iron tablets to schoolchildren and also conduct de-worming treatment on those found suffering from anaemia."
To improve nutrition among schoolchildren, the mid-day meal programme is another component, Bassan added.