Health Minister launches National STOP Diarrhoea Campaign 2024 to eradicate child deaths

The campaign aims for zero child deaths due to diarrhoea and emphasizes prevention, treatment, and hygiene education

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New Delhi: Union Health Minister Jagat Prakash Nadda launched the National STOP Diarrhoea Campaign 2024 in the presence of Union Ministers of State Anupriya Patel and Jadhav Patraprao Ganpatrao. The campaign is a concerted effort to eliminate childhood deaths caused by diarrhoea across India, targeting children under five with a comprehensive strategy focused on prevention, protection, and treatment.
The initiative builds on the success of previous national health missions such as the National Jal Jeevan Mission and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, which have contributed significantly to reducing childhood mortality linked to diarrhoea in the country.
The STOP Diarrhoea Campaign 2024, formerly known as the Intensified Diarrhoea Control Fortnight (IDCF), spans two months from July 1 to August 31, 2024. It includes the pre-positioning of two Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) packets and zinc as a co-packaging to ensure easy access and utilization of these critical supplies.
Minister Nadda emphasized the urgent need to enhance health workers’ capacity and raise public awareness about preventive measures and treatment options for diarrhoea. “If our healthcare workers could reach the remotest corners of the country and administer 220 crore doses of Covid vaccines, I am sure that our frontline healthcare workers can create the same robust delivery mechanism during STOP Diarrhoea Campaign too”, he added.
Noting that “only healthy children lead to a healthy nation”, Jadhav Prataprao emphasized that more effort should be put in place to prevent diarrhoea in the first place. He also urged the officials to focus on cleanliness and setting diarrhoea prevention targets in addition to providing ORS and zinc tablets to children.
Anupriya Patel echoed Minister Nadda’s sentiments, “It is distressing that childhood diarrhoea is both preventable and curable, yet many lives are lost due to this menace.” She urged the representatives from states and other organizations to “re-energize their efforts and increase awareness on diarrhoea to reach the goal of zero childhood deaths due to diarrhoea”. Patel urged stakeholders to intensify awareness campaigns and ensure the widespread availability of ORS and zinc supplements to effectively mitigate the disease’s impact.
Senior officials from various states in attendance shared their insights and feedback on the campaign. They also updated on their levels of preparedness and shared some of their best practices in managing diarrhoea.
The campaign will unfold in two phases: a preparatory phase from June 14 to 30, 2024, focusing on readiness and training, followed by the main campaign phase from July 1 to August 31, 2024. Activities during these phases will include extensive Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) activities, distribution of ORS and zinc co-packages through Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA), and establishment of dedicated corners at health facilities and Anganwadi centers.
Key focus areas of the campaign include enhancing health infrastructure maintenance, improving access to clean water and sanitation facilities, promoting nutritional programs, and educating communities on essential hygiene practices to prevent diarrhoea effectively.
The STOP Diarrhoea Campaign 2024 received widespread support from various line ministries, state governments, and international development partners committed to achieving its objectives and ensuring a healthier future for India’s children.