CHENNAI: In order to prevent anaemia in children and adolescents studying in Government, Government-aided and private schools, the Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine issues guidelines for implementation of Weekly Iron Folic Acid Implementation Supplementation (WIFS) programme in such places.
The school education authorities have been informed to identify the nodal teacher for the implementation of the programme and send the action report to DPH.
For children aged 6-10 years of age, one iron folic acid tablet containing 45mg of elemental iron and 400 mcg of folic acid is to be given on every Thursday post lunch. While the tablet for the age group of 11-19 years contains 60 mg of elemental iron and 500 mcg of folic acid.
The school children in rural and urban areas are targetted in both the categories in all government, government aided, private schools in peimary and middle schools and college students below 19 years. Schools and colleges have been instructed to designate one teacher or lecturer as the nodal authority and teachers are also encouraged to consume iron folic acid tablet tablet before the students.
Based on the number of students, one tablet per student should be given for 52 weeks and nodal teacher or official should ensure adequate stock of tablets and should be available at schools on Wednesday itself. The tablets should be distributed to the students post lunch through class teachers and a list of students who have consumed the tablets is to be submitted. The absentees list should be given separately.
The tablets should be stored in a clean, dry, dust free area, away from the direct sunlight and before distribution of the tablet, expiry date of the drug should be verified. If the child is absent on Thursday or missed out, then the tablets can be taken the next day and two tablets should not be given in the following week. Prophylaxis of Iron and Folic acid tablet should not be given to those who are having fever, diarrhea, pneumonia.
The guidelines stated that children should be given awareness on passage of black coloured stools on next day, mild nausea, vomiting, constipation following intake of iron and folic acid tablet is normal and no treatment is needed.
The Deputy Director of Health Services in all districts have been instructed to ensure the availability and adequate supply and maintain buffer stock at Primary Health Centers or schools and to ensure reporting, monitoring supportive supervision of the programme at the district-level.
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