539 in Arsikere taluk identified for the purpose

The AYUSH Department has launched a programme to treat schoolchildren with iron deficiency (anaemia) in Hassan district. Alongside a study will be conducted on the effect of ayurvedic medicines in comparison to that of allopathic drugs. The children identified with anaemia are treated for four months.

As the basic objective of the programme is to analyse the impact of ayurvedic medicine, the department identified schoolchildren with anaemia and divided them into two groups, while one is given ayurvedic treatment, the other gets allopathic treatment. The programme is being implemented with the assistance of the SDM Ayurveda College in Hassan.

H.L. Janardhana, officer of the the Health Department, told The Hindu that the department had screened 2,385 students in 10 high schools of Arsikere taluk and found 539 of them anaemic. Among them 254 children are being treated with ayurvedic medicine, while 285 are being given allopathic medicine.

The Hassan zilla panchayat suggested Arsikere taluk for this programme as it recorded poor health index. K.J. Girish, Reader at the SDM Ayurvedic College in Hassan and district coordinator for this Information Education and Communication programme under the Ayush Department, said, “We have chosen high schools with highest students’ strength. We conducted tests to analyse haemoglobin count (Hb), mean corpuscular volume (MCV) and red cell distribution width (RDW)”, he said.

Children with Hb count less than 12gm/dl have been selected for treatment. Children studying in Government High School for Girls, St. Mary’s High School in Arsikere town, Shanakareshwara High School in Chikkammanahalli, government high schools in D.M Kurke and J.C. Pura have been chosen for allopathic treatment.

Similarly those in Kodimath high school in Banavara, Government Junior College in Banavara, Halusiddeshwara High School in Hiriyur, SSJC in Kittanakere and SNS High School in Rampura have been selected for ayurvedic treatment.

These children are provided with medicine necessary to tackle iron deficiency. While those treated with allopathic medicine get ferrous sulphate tablets (two per day) and those treated under ayurvedic medicine get dhatriloha tablets (two per day). “The medicines are supplied by the Ayush Department. We distribute them among students in the school once a month. We also monitor improvements every month”, Dr. Girish said.

The programme was launched in June in five districts (Hassan, Bangalore, Mysore, Gadag and Bellary). “It is a four-month programme. We conduct blood tests of children every month to analyse the improvement and submit the final report in October”, he said.

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