Wanaparthy: Wanaparthy district administration will launch a programme called ‘Samatha’ to address the issue of high prevalence of anaemia among adolescent girls.
Addressing mediapersons at the Collector’s Chambers in District Collectorate on Tuesday, Collector Sweta Mohanty said that an exercise called ‘universal healthcare testing’ was done in all KGBV high schools and zilla parishad high schools, where ANMs were trained to use Sally Haemometers to check the haemoglobin levels in adolescent girls. To the surprise of the administration, they found that 40 per cent of the girls were moderately anaemic. This matches the number of pregnant women coming for institutional deliveries to government hospitals with low haemoglobin levels.
To address this issue, the administration will distribute vitamin and iron tablets to adolescent girls in schools every Thursday.
“Research by WHO has shown that the women in Palamuru region are highly prone to cervical cancer. The cause for this is poor menstrual hygiene maintained by the rural adolescent girls which continues into their womanhood,” observed Sweta Mohanty.
To address this issue, all KGBVs have been given sanitary napkin burning machines, as it is harmful to throw them out in the open, she said.
In addition to these interventions, the district administration is also going to take help from ‘Voice for Girls’ to teach leadership and communication skills to girls studying in KGBVs and ZPHS schools across the district from August 18.
Adolescent girls will also be made aware about their bodily and emotional changes during adolescence, in addition to creating awareness among Class VIII, IX and X girls about issues like ovulation, menstruation and so on.
“We have combined all these initiatives and have named it ‘Samatha’ which means ‘equality’, so that adolescent girls can feel equally important about themselves as do boys of their age,” said Sweta Mohanty.