Are people being told to take it easy over the side effects caused by folic acid and iron supplements handed out in government schools under Central scheme? Is it a way deployed by Health Minister Gulam Nabi Azad to relieve the people of the panic caused?
Side effects of iron pills
Health Minister Gulam Nabi Azad has said that these are the initial side effects that have come up because of the iron supplements and the health problems will settle down in a few hours according to him.
Gulam Nabi Azad commented “There were reports about some students feeling sick after taking the pills, but there is no need to panic. Such initial side effects are felt on taking the pills first time, and may not last more than 2-3 hours.”
All this started in several districts of Haryana, where about 1000 Government school students, mostly girls, consumed iron tablets and were taken ill. On the July 18th , about 200 children fell ill, and 21 students were taken to hospital in Delhi after they had taken the IFA tablets offered by the Government. Azad insisted that the pills need to be consumed by following all precautions. He insisted that the tablets should not be taken on an empty stomach and should never be chewed and eaten.
Latest on iron supplements
Azad compelled the teachers, students and parents need to know that “Anaemia is a big health problem in India, particularly among women. We are not in a good position globally on this side so the government launched this scheme to improve the situation.”
Weekly iron and folic acid (IFA) supplementation programme
Government has launched the weekly iron and folic acid (IFA) supplementation programme that plans to cover almost 13 crore young girls and boys all over the country. Adolescents make up about 22% of the Indian population and out of these nearly 11% of the Indian adolescents suffer from anemia.
Because of this medical condition, the students suffer from poor school performance, poor physical growth, and lack of concentration in their everyday lives. In this programme the families of the adolescent boys and girls are counseled on health and nutritional education. The programme had been granted almost Rs.135 crore in 2012-13 and about Rs.750 crore in 2013-14 for its implementation.
Azad stated “The WIFS programme has been launched to provide better health to the adolescents and make them strong.”
A.A.Khan , the Rajasthan Health minister states that this weekly scheme giving out free folic acid and iron pills will be targeting nearly 44 lakh students in almost 34,164 government schools.