Representational Picture

The Jharkhand Matri Sishu Suraksha Evam Poshan Mah (JMSSPM) scheduled from 1 to 28 February 2017 was launched by the Department of Health and Family Welfare and UNICEF here today.

Supplementation of Vitamin A for children 9 month to 5 years of age reduces Vitamin A deficiency and childhood mortality. Vitamin A supplementation rounds are organised every year for children 9 – 59 months. Vitamin A supplementation protects children from different morbidities and blindness, and reduces all-cause mortality among children below 5 years by up to 24%. The bi-annual supplementation is the most effective public health intervention for prevention of Vitamin A deficiency.

The Additional Chief Secretary, Mr. Sudhir Tripathy said, “The biannual JMSSPM round is being organized from 1 – 28 Feb 2017. A little over 33 lakh children 9- 59 months will be given Vitamin A Supplementation during this round. Last year it was organized from July to 15 August and covered 92% children in the state. The coverage in hard to reach areas was 89%. This year two 2 such rounds are planned. A total of 80,000 bottles of Vitamin A has already been distributed to all districts.

Action plan

During the month long round the following activities are planned –

§ Vitamin A supplementation will be administered to children 9 -59 months

§ Screening of children with severe acute malnutrition using MUAC (Mid Upper Arm Circumference) tapes.

§ Distribution of IFA syrup to children 6 months – 5 years of age; IFA pink tablets for children 6-10 years in schools; IFA supplementation for pregnant and lactating women

§ Registration of pregnant and lactating women

§ Counselling on breastfeeding and complementary feeding for children

§ Salt sample testing in Endemic District of Ranchi, Lohardaga, Gumla, Palamu, Dumka, Deoghar, Godda & Sahebganj

Dr Madhulika Jonathan, Chief of UNICEF said, “Vitamin A supplementation reduces mortality among children below 5 years by up to 24%. Two high doses of Vitamin- A at an interval of at 6 months is a cost effective way to address Vitamin A deficiency where diet is deficient in Vitamin A. UNICEF is partnering with the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Jharkhand in monitoring Vitamin A supplementation in 2200 hard to reach areas in the State.”


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