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Union Health Minister Launches National STOP Diarrhoea Campaign 2024

New Delhi: Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Jagat Prakash Nadda, today launched the National STOP Diarrhoea Campaign 2024. The event, held at the Scope Convention Centre, was attended by Union Ministers of State for Health and Family Welfare, Anupriya Patel and Shri Jadhav Patraprao Ganpatrao. The dignitaries unveiled various Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) materials, including logos, posters, radio spots, and audio visuals for the campaign, and distributed oral rehydration salts (ORS) and zinc tablets to children.

The campaign’s primary goal is to achieve zero child deaths due to childhood diarrhoea. Unlike the previous two-week campaign, the new strategy involves a two-month-long campaign with the distribution of two ORS packets and zinc tablets as co-packages to children under five. This extended effort will include extensive IEC initiatives through multiple platforms and collaboration across sectors such as health, water and sanitation, education, and rural development.

Nadda emphasized the critical relationship between Mission Indradhanush, the Rotavirus vaccine, and the STOP Diarrhoea Campaign, noting their collective impact on reducing childhood mortality. He highlighted the introduction of the Rotavirus vaccine in 2014 and the significant contributions of the National Jal Jeevan Mission, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, and the expansion of the Ayushman Arogya Mandir network in combating diarrhoea.

The Union Health Minister underscored the importance of training health workers and enhancing capacity-building efforts to strengthen diarrhoea management. He praised the preparedness of the states and encouraged them to further raise awareness among the public. Drawing parallels to the successful COVID-19 vaccination drive, he expressed confidence in the healthcare workers’ ability to effectively implement the STOP Diarrhoea Campaign.

Jadhav Prataprao emphasized the need for preventive measures, urging officials to focus on cleanliness and setting targets for diarrhoea prevention in addition to distributing ORS and zinc tablets.

Anupriya Patel called attention to the preventable and curable nature of childhood diarrhoea, urging renewed efforts to increase awareness and achieve the goal of zero childhood deaths due to the disease.

Union Health Secretary Apurva Chandra and Director General of Health Services Dr. Atul Goel discussed the commonality of diarrhoea among children and the reinvigorated campaign’s potential to strengthen management strategies across the country.

Senior officials from various states, along with representatives from development partners such as UNICEF, USAID, BMGF, NIPI, Nutrition International, John Snow India, and WHO, shared insights and feedback on the campaign. They provided updates on their preparedness and best practices.

The campaign will be executed in two phases: the Preparatory Phase from June 14 to 30, 2024, and the Campaign Phase from July 1 to August 31, 2024. Key activities include the distribution of ORS and zinc co-packages, setting up ORS-Zinc corners at health facilities and Anganwadi centers, and intensifying advocacy and awareness efforts.

The campaign will concentrate on strengthening health infrastructure, improving access to clean water and sanitation, enhancing nutritional programs, and promoting hygiene education. This holistic approach aims to reduce child mortality and improve overall public health.

The MoHFW is working closely with various line ministries, including Drinking Water and Sanitation, Women and Child Development, School Education, Rural Development, and Urban Development, ensuring a comprehensive and impactful program to reduce child mortality and enhance public health.

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