Attempting to become stronger, a school child dies

Navsari, 27 August 2013

To become super strong and brave, two school children consumed extra dose of iron pills. One of them died due to serious complications.

Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional disorder in the developing world and the most common cause of nutritional anaemia in young children and women of reproductive age. With 40 per cent prevalence of anaemia in the world on an average for the general population, the prevalence in the developing countries tends to be three to four times higher than in the developed countries. Under the government programme all adolescent children in 6 to 12th standard at government and government aided schools are to be given iron and folic acid tablets once a week.

Navsari based government school advises its students to consume iron pills to become stronger.

In one of the class room, the school teacher was keeping stock of iron pills in his drawer.

Last week-end two students Ritesh and Abdul were alone in the classroom. Wishing to become stronger and braver, Ritesh and Abdlul open the drawer of class-teacher and consumed overdose of iron pills. While Ritesh consumed around 50 iron pills, Abdul consumed 25.

Back at home after school, Ritesh suffered pain in head, vomits and diarrhea. He was taken to Surat Civi hospital for emergency treatment where he died.

Lessons to learn

The incident is eye-opener for schools. The students need to be properly informed about benefits and troubles associated with pills.

The government needs to provide proper guidelines to teachers associated with the iron tablet programme to deal with the subject.

While the case narrated above involves overdose issue, there are other cases in which children were hospitalized after consuming regular dose of iron tablets in schools. The whopping number of incidents should work as eye-opener. What’s needed is strict quality check of pills, and close watch on execution of guideline(if any).

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