Hyderabad: The upcoming Kanti Velugu programme took its toll on the National Deworming Day (NDD) drive conducted across the State on Friday. Senior officials of Health Department and District Collectors were not in attendance at any venue where children and students (in the age group 1-19 years) were administered Albendazole tablets, an anti-worm medication.
Top officials give NDD a miss
This is in stark contrast to active participation of top officials witnessed during all-India health drives like pulse polio programme conducted by the Union government.
It may be noted here that the government locked August 15 date for the launch of Kanti Velugu, under which eye screenings and further check-ups would be done for 3.5 crore population of Telangana.
Nearly 800 camps are being established spread over 31 districts and understandably health officials are preoccupied in arrangements and logistic issues. They have to put in place everything including facilities, equipment and glasses etc. at least one to two days in advance and even have the designated staff in the camp to have a feel of them beforehand.
As of Friday evening, material was still being dispatched to all districts and official machinery is engrossed in these arrangements. A senior official stated that NDD and Kanti Velugu programmes were separated by just four days and hence the problem.
BJP president Dr K Laxman expressed displeasure with attitude of official machinery to the de-worming drive. “This is a one-day drive being held nationwide. Kanti Velugu is a long programme spread over five to six months. Giving preference to only the State scheme is not proper. Top government officials should take little time of their schedule and attend the drive, which would motivate staff at ground level. If they only abstain, it would send wrong signals,” he said.
Authorities targeted to cover 99.5 lakh children and adolescents in the age group of 1 to 19 years in Telangana in the deworming drive held on Friday (August 10). Although children from government schools and colleges were given chewable Albendazole tablets, the situation was opposite in private institutions, especially in Hyderabad, which were not part of the drive.