Diarrhea is one of the major killers in India, with reportedly 1.4 lakh deaths of children aged under five years or 10.4% deaths of children of that age. To reduce diarrhea deaths in the country, the union health ministry in collaboration with a few international health organizations has launched the 'Intensified Diarrhea Control Fortnight-2015 program'.
Between July 27, 2015, and August 8, 2015, Asha (Accredited Social Health Activists) workers will carry out several activities in the remote parts of the states including paying home visits for distribution of ORS packets to every household with under-five children along with group counseling. Other activities include establishing ORS-Zinc corners for the treatment of childhood diarrhea at health facilities. The Asha workers will also try to promote prescription of ORS along with zinc tablets by all healthcare providers.
Apart from the union health ministry, the other stakeholders in the program are World Health Organization (WHO), Unicef, Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) and Micro Nutrient Initiative (MI).
Jagdish Prasad, director general of health services (DGHS), said, "Our target is to bring down the diarrhea deaths to zero. This program will ensure that people in the remotest part of the country will get awareness on how to tackle diarrhea. The program was also undertaken last year."
The health ministry aims to target 7-8 crore children across the country under this program. A senior representative from WHO said, "As children living in slums and remote communities are at highest risk, ill-health and economic burden by diarrhea further aggravates the existing inequalities."