Tuesday January 22, 2019

Delhi students studying in polluted school air: Report

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New Delhi: Giving a hit to the Delhi government’s claims of improvement in the atmosphere of the city through the odd-even scheme, a Greenpeace India study found high levels of metals in the air. Though, the samples were collected since last October.

The high density of metal in air impacts the cognitive and motoric development of a child. Samples were collected from schools in Paschim Vihar, Tagore garden and Meera bagh and testing was done in England.

Report said that most of the sample showed the dangerous level of metallic presence in the air. In Paschim Vihar, the level of cadmium exceeded the safe limit and in Tagore Garden, it was arsenic concentration. Same way in Meera Bagh, the levels of lead and nickel were too much.

The concerning factor is that samples were collected from schools which mean Children are exposed to dangerous air and it can lead them to diseases like cancer.

“Exposure to even small quantities continuously can be hazardous. The result signifies that schoolchildren are exposed to exceeding levels of heavy metals that increase the risk of cancer and developmental problems. More the PM2.5 concentrations, higher will be the exposure to heavy metals,” said Sunil Dahiya, campaigner, Greenpeace India.

Greenpeace report suggested that Delhi needs to take strict action to counter this and reduce the children’s exposure to the polluted atmosphere.

Delhi was declared one of the most polluted city which forced Delhi government to roll out odd even scheme to counter it. Today, coincidently marks the end the practice of odd even scheme. The data of these 15 days will be collected and on the basis of its results, a decision will be taken whether this scheme will be back or not in future.

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Vaccination Not Forced on Children: Delhi Health Authorities

The prime target, according to the Ministry, is immunising children in the pre-schools, school children from both government and private institutions and those out of school

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Vaccination
Vaccination not forced on children: Delhi health authorities. Flickr

The measles and rubella (MR) vaccination programme, which was deferred following an intervention by the Delhi High Court, does not override the consent of students, said state’s health authorities for the campaign.

“It is totally wrong to say that vaccination was administered without consent. Though there has never been the process of seeking permission for any vaccination from guardians, people are free to refuse vaccination as we don’t force anyone,” Dr Suresh Seth, Delhi programme chief for immunisation told IANS on Wednesday.

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday deferred implementation of the “Measles and Rubella (MR) Vaccine Immunisation Campaign”, saying that vaccination cannot be administered “forcibly” and without the consent of parents.

The court’s order came while hearing pleas by parents of some minor students at city’s schools alleging that the MR campaign is a “violation of the fundamental rights” of the students as their consent had not been taken.

China, Vaccines
A child receives a vaccination shot at a hospital in Rongan in China’s southern Guangxi region on July 23, 2018. VOA

“We will comply with court’s orders. Our preparations are same and will start the very next day the high court gives clearance for the campaign,” Dr Seth said.

The Delhi Health Department will also share inputs with the Health and Welfare Family Ministry, which has been asked by the high court to respond by January 21.

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The measles and rubella vaccination campaign was scheduled to begin in the national capital from January 15, aiming at immunising nearly 55 lakh children in the age group of 9 months up to 15 years across 11 districts of Delhi.

The prime target, according to the Ministry, is immunising children in the pre-schools, school children from both government and private institutions and those out of school. (IANS)