Brijesh A. and Ritesh L., 10 standard students from the Government High School in Attavar here had an early lunch of rice and sambar on Wednesday. The two were among the 100 students in the school waiting for the official launch of the national drive against anaemia.

After Deputy Commissioner N. Prakash inaugurated the campaign, teachers of the school distributed the green-coloured iron and folic acid tablets, containing 100mg of elemental iron and 500mg folic acid, to each student. These students were among the 1.11 lakh children studying in sixth to 10th standards in the district who will receive these tablets once a week. District Reproductive Child Health Officer M. Rukmini said weekly consumption of these tablets will not have any side effects on the child. The Department was offering counselling in nearby Primary Health Centre for students who are averse to consuming tablets. The department will also offer support for treatment of anaemic students. Consuming iron-folic acid tablets should not be considered as treatment for anaemia, Dr. Rukmini said. Two teachers in each school will act as nodal officers to implement the scheme in their premises, she added.

Dr. Rukmini said each of the primary and secondary schools has been given tablets required for four months. The State government was providing these tablets through respective District Drug Houses. Arrangements have been made to ensure that the tablets reach each of the schools and the 2,102 anganwadis. Anganwadi workers will give these tablets to children aged between 12 and 16 who are out of schools. Schools have also been given de-worming tablets to be distributed to each student during August and February, she added.