Maharashtra government and UNICEF today launched a fortnight-long campaign to mobilise communities, health personnel and political leaders towards prevention of diarrhoea. The campaign titled 'Intensified Diarrhoea Control Fortnight (IDCF)' will be held from July 28 to August 8.
"IDCF will mobilise communities, health personnel and political leaders to prioritise investment for control of diarrhoea. It aims to create awareness about the low-cost diarrhoea treatment," Maharashtra health minister Suresh Shetty said in a statement here. IDCF will have intensified community awareness campaigns on hygiene, age-appropriate childhood feeding practises and promotion of ORS and zinc therapy.
The focus will be on diarrhoea control activities during the first week and on infant and young child feeding practises during the second week, to coincide with the 'world breast feeding week'. The disease claims lives of over 4,700 children below the age of five years in the state every year.
UNICEF Maharashtra chief of field office, Rajeshwari Chandrasekar said diarrhoea is "the third deadliest killer for children below five years". About seven lakh children below five years of age, in Maharashtra are affected by diarrhoea annually.
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