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Nourishing intake key to prevention of fluorosis

Nourishing intake key to prevention of fluorosis
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Campaign against fluoride launched by The Hans India/HMTV two years old B Ashok Goud Nalgonda: It has been since two years HMTV/The Hans India...

Campaign against fluoride launched by The Hans India/HMTV two years old

B Ashok Goud

nalgonda collectorNalgonda: It has been since two years HMTV/The Hans India launched a massive campaign to fight the fluoride menace in Nalgonda district. The teams of the round-the-clock news channel and the English daily newspaper extensively toured the district to bring to the notice of the world about the plight of fluoride victims all over the district.

Positively responding to the fluoride campaign, Speaker of Assembly Nadendla Manohar also toured the district on July 6 and 7 in the fluoride-affected areas in the district and conducted meetings with the officials for the action to be taken on war-footing. Necessary steps have been taken to fight the fluoride menace since then.

District Collector Nandivelugu Mukteswara Rao after ssuming charge has taken initiative to find relief to the fluoride victims and has been reviewing the progress of the programmes from time to time.A On the eve of the second anniversary of the campaign against fluoride, the HMTV/The Hans India team met the district collector on Sunday over the activities undertaken to mitigate the malady of fluoride in the district.

EXCERPTS:

What are the special programmes you have undertaken to solve the fluoride problem in the district? The average rainfall has gone down from 750 mm to the present 450 mm to 565 mm in the last ten years. As a result, the Nalgonda district has been turning from semi-arid land into arid land. In addition, there are 5.22 lakh agriculture bore wells in the district which were sunk to at least 1000 ft. The water drawn from that depth contained fluoride which was affecting the health of the people in the district. Of the 59 mandals in the district, fluoride at the rate of 2.5 parts per million (ppm) was found in 17 mandals and in 31 mandals 1.5 ppm to 2.5 ppm fluoride content was found. Indiscriminate usage of groundwater since 1980s was the main reason behind the fluoride problem.

What are the remedial measures being taken? The first priority is supplying protected water from River Krishna and next providing relief to the fluoride victims. It has been decided to provide milk, egg, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C to the children below 14 years and the pregnant women to protect them from the ill effects of fluoride.

Post-tour of the Assembly Speaker, what are the actions you have undertaken to check fluorosis Following the suggestions from the Speaker, seventeen departments were being coordinated to provide relief to the people from fluoride. A report has been submitted to the Speaker stating that it needs Rs. 151.60 crore for all these departments to work at field level. A fluoride control coordinating officer has been appointed to conduct review meetings every week with all the departments and prepare a report.

The district has been divided into two parts regarding the fluoride-affected areas. What are the actions being taken there? River water is being provided to the 1108 fluoride-affected villages and the rest of the villages also needed to be supplied with protected water. Children between 3-6 years, pregnant and lactating women are being provided with an egg and a glass of milk. A fluorosis ward has been opened at the government general hospital at Nalgonda and the fluoride-affected persons would be identified by the primary health centre doctors to be referred to the district headquarters.

What is the permanent solution for fluoride problem? If we could provide protected drinking water and irrigation, the fluoride problem could be solved. The main problem is the groundwater and that has to be avoided. Irrigation tanks would be desilted and used for irrigation. Though fluoride is a problem to the people of Punjab and Haryana, they have overcome it by consuming nutrition food including egg, vegetables enriched with calcium, magnesium, vitamin C. A massive programme is being undertaken to bring awareness regarding fluoride in the district involving the teachers, lecturers and others.

Speaker Nadendla Manohar promised the establishment of national fluorosis research centre here and we are looking forward for it.

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