Union Health Minister, Shri JP Nadda launches National STOP

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Union Health Minister, Shri JP Nadda launches National STOP

In a significant step towards improving child health in India, Union Health Minister Shri JP Nadda launched the National STOP Diarrhoea Campaign 2024. The launch event, held in Delhi, saw the presence of Union Ministers of State Smt. Anupriya Patel and Shri Jadhav Patraprao Ganpatrao. This campaign aims to achieve zero child deaths due to childhood diarrhoea through a comprehensive two-month initiative.

Campaign Objectives and Strategies

The STOP Diarrhoea Campaign 2024 is designed to prevent childhood deaths from diarrhoea by ensuring the distribution of Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) and zinc to children under the age of five. The new strategy includes a two-month long campaign, a significant extension from the previous two-week initiative, and involves the pre-positioning of two ORS packets and zinc as a co-package for children. This extended campaign will also feature extensive Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) efforts across multiple platforms and sectors, including health, water and sanitation, education, and rural development.

Government Initiatives and Support

During the launch, Shri JP Nadda highlighted the successful efforts of various government initiatives like the National Jal Jeevan Mission, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, and the expansion of the Ayushman Arogya Mandir network. These initiatives have collectively contributed to a reduction in childhood mortality due to diarrhoea. Shri Nadda emphasized the importance of sensitizing health workers and enhancing capacity-building efforts to strengthen diarrhoea management in India.

Shri Jadhav Patraprao Ganpatrao, urging officials to focus on cleanliness and prevention, stated, “Only healthy children lead to a healthy nation.” He stressed the need for comprehensive diarrhoea prevention measures alongside the provision of ORS and zinc tablets.

Smt. Anupriya Patel addressed the issue of childhood diarrhoea, which is both preventable and curable, calling for renewed efforts to increase awareness and reach the goal of zero childhood deaths due to diarrhoea.

Implementation Phases and Key Activities

The STOP Diarrhoea Campaign will be implemented in two phases:

  • Preparatory Phase (14th to 30th June 2024): In this phase, preparatory activities will include the distribution of ORS and zinc co-packages by ASHA workers to households with children under five and setting up ORS-Zinc corners at health facilities and Anganwadi centers.
  • Campaign Phase (1st July to 31st August 2024): This phase will focus on intensified advocacy and awareness efforts, strengthening service provision for diarrhoea case management, and ensuring comprehensive care and prevention.

Focus Areas

The campaign will target several key areas:

  1. Strengthening Health Infrastructure: Ensuring the maintenance and use of health facilities and availability of essential medical supplies, especially in rural areas.
  2. Improving Access to Clean Water and Sanitation: Implementing quality control measures and sustainable practices to provide safe drinking water and better sanitation.
  3. Enhancing Nutritional Programs: Addressing malnutrition through improved nutritional initiatives.
  4. Promoting Hygiene Education: Equipping schools with necessary facilities and fostering healthy habits among children through comprehensive hygiene education programs.

Multi-Sectoral Approach

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is collaborating with various line ministries, including Drinking Water and Sanitation, Women and Child Development, School Education, Rural Development, and Urban Development. This multi-sectoral approach aims to ensure better convergence and implementation of the STOP Diarrhoea Campaign, ultimately reducing child mortality and improving public health.

Conclusion

The launch of the National STOP Diarrhoea Campaign 2024 marks a renewed commitment to child health in India. With a comprehensive strategy involving multiple sectors and extensive community engagement, the campaign aims to achieve its goal of zero child deaths due to childhood diarrhoea. The combined efforts of government initiatives, health workers, and community members are expected to create a robust framework for effective diarrhoea management and prevention across the country.

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