Published: Thursday, March 14, 2013

Vitamin A Campaign

Source of rumour to be detected

A committee was formed yesterday to identify the source of a rumour that children fell ill or even died after taking Vitamin A capsules distributed by the government as part of a nationwide campaign.
The health and family welfare ministry formed the four-member committee, headed by the ministry’s Additional Secretary Shafiqul Islam.
The committee will submit a report in a week, said State Minister for Health Mozibur Rahman Fakir at a press conference in the ministry’s conference room in the capital.
The government on Tuesday distributed Vitamin A capsules through 1.40 lakh vaccine centres to children aged between six months and five years across the country.
The rumour caused panic across the country, causing many parents to rush to hospitals with their children.
The rumour was “baseless” and “spread by a vested quarter”, said Mozibur. The vitamin capsules are “standard, germ-free and safe”.

The children who were rushed to hospitals had seasonal ailments like cough, sneezing, and diarrhoea, he said.
Police have arrested at Cox’s Bazar an imam who reportedly announced through loudspeakers at his mosque that the capsules will reduce the lifespan of Muslims and increase that of Hindus, said Khondakar Md Shefyetullah, director general of health services.
He said the rumour had started from Cox’s Bazar, from Rohingya camps in particular, adding that it also spread through social networking site Facebook.