more than 36 per cent of Gujarat's 62 lakh primary school children are suffering from various diseases like dysentery, leprosy, anaemia, worm infestation, night blindness, scabies, ear discharge, goitre, pyoderma, dental problems and vision defects. According to a report based on the Special Health Check up scheme, which examined children in 33,094 primary schools, 22.50 lakh children were suffering from various diseases. Anil Joshiara, the state health minister said that the highest number of children (around 6.63 lakh) had dental problems and 4.58 lakh were anaemic. Three lakh were worm infested, 1.48 lakh were affected with flourosis and around 8,528 children suffered from leprosy. He said that at least six lakh have been cured of their defects at the cost of the government.
Joshiara said that the government had chalked out a programme to meet the deficiencies detected in the children on the basis of the health scheme results. To check goitre, which is highly prevalent among tribals, the government has directed the civil supply department to distribute iodised salt in the tribal pockets of south Gujarat.
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