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As many as 3,400 students of government-run-schools in Kandhamal district of Odisha have been tested positive for malaria.
“The health officials have administered drugs to the affected students and are keeping a watch on their condition”, said Kandhamal District Collector Yamini Sarangi.
Out of 143 students, 65 students of a residential school at Ranipathara were found suffering from malaria. Keeping in mind the perceived threat of malaria, the collector ordered the launch of a three-month, malaria, dengue and diarrhoea awareness drive. The focus was mainly the school children.
Blood samples of 19,767 students of 214 residential schools run by ST and SC Development Department in the tribal-dominated district were tested between July 6 and August 3.
Such awareness programmes will focus mainly on children in government schools who are mostly from weaker section of the society and face difficulty in managing personal hygiene. Any such case will be immediately notified to the government hospitals, as stated by Sapaneswar Gadanayak, Chief District Medical Officer.
Following the directives of the collector, all government- run schools would be sanitized. The programme will be initiated with indoor residual spraying (IRS) in all hostels and schools to check malaria outbreak.
“We will provide medicated mosquito nets to the inmates and persuade them to use these,” said District Consultant, National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme, Kumuda Chandra Sahu.
2014 had witnessed the death of six persons due to vector borne diseases, while two had tested positive.