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Sunday, 27 March 2011

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One -fifth of children are underweight:

'Child Growth Plan Reports' to monitor nutrition levels

Urgent steps have been taken by the Government to evaluate the nutritional status of children, especially those under the age of five.

The Deputy Health Minister, Lalith Dissanayake said that the Government is concerned over the poor nutritional conditions of children in the country as one -fifth of all children were underweight due to the lack of proper nutrition.

Minister Dissanayake highlighted in Parliament recently that this situation is worse in the Northern and Eastern Provinces.

Speaking to the Junior Observer, the Deputy Minister said the Health Department has taken steps to evaluate the nutritional condition of children, in the future by issuing a 'Child Growth Plan Report' for newborn children to record their regular health conditions.

The Deputy Minister has also directed the health authorities to keep a track record of the nutritional levels of expectant mothers as it is vital for the improvement of the health conditions of children to be born.

He said that breast feeding is the best remedy to improve the health conditions of infants and added that according to health statistics 16 per cent of lactating mothers suffered from iron deficiency.

The Deputy Minister said a programme has also been initiated to provide iron tablets, Vitamin-C and calcium tablets to children of all ages by conducting regular health camps in schools, and also for expectant mothers through area health offices.


Miracle baby!

Amidst the many heart rending reports from Japan after the tsunami there are some which help lift our spirits in joy. Here is one such story...

A four-month old baby girl in a pink woolen bear suit was rescued by the soldiers from the Japanese Defense Force who were going door-to-door, pulling bodies from homes that were flattened by the earthquake and tsunami in Ishinomaki City, a coastal town northeast of Senda on March 14. The soldiers had almost missed out on finiding her; the faint cries of the baby, when heard first had been dismissed as a mistake but on hearing it for the second time they had carefully removed fragments of wood and slate, shattered glass and rock only to discover the little babe in pink. What a miracle.

The tidal wave had literally swept the unnamed girl away from her parents' arms when it hit their home on March 11. Since then her parents - both of whom survived the disaster - have taken refuge in their wrecked house, and worried that their little girl was dead. Soldiers managed to reunite the baby with her overjoyed father shortly after the rescue.


A 'dazzling' campfire

Dazzle-2011, the annual campfire organised by the Girl Guides of the Anula Vidyalaya, Nugegoda was held on March 12, at the school premises with the participation of 10 schools: Ananda College, Thurstan College, Devi Balika Vidyalaya, Samudra Devi Vidyalaya and Pannipitiya Dharmapala Vidyalaya.

The chief guest was the Principal of Anula Vidyalaya, Mrs. Kalyani Gunasekara. The assistant principal in charge of extra-curricular activities, Mrs. P.K.P. Pieris, Guiding Commissioners, teachers and parents were also present to witness this grand event.


The Guides and Scouts in action at Dazzle 2011.

The guides and scouts who were divided into 12 teams after the registration participated in many events. The main event was a treasure hunt which was like a hike around the premises. Each team had to find their way through the signs given at various points. There were also checkpoints to test their knowledge on the history of guiding and guiding signs as well as their ability to think rationally, and ascertain how vigilant they are. After completing the tests at the checkpoints, they had to find the treasure following the given trails. After the treasure hunt, the teams had to face yet another challenge; the cooking challenge. Each team had to cook a meal using the ingredients, the twigs and a saucepan made out of a tin.

The team that cooked in the least amount of time won the game.

The lighting of the campfire which followed the games was the grandest moment of the day. The theme of the day was 'The Journey to the Pathfinders Fiesta'. The organising committee took all the participants on a journey to Mars. The King and Queen of Mars warmly welcomed the visitors and the witch lighted the campfire using her spells. Everyone cheered when a ball of fire rolled along a string, and lit the campfire. Then the King of Mars invited the schools to display their talents through creative activities.

A member of the Old Scouts and Guides Association Abeetha Edirisinghe along with other members of the Association gave immense support to the organising committee to make this event a success. The committee was also thankful to the teacher-in-charge, B.S. Tennakoon for her guidance and support.

According to the marks obtained from the treasure hunt and the cooking challenge, Thurstan College won the trophy of the games. After singing campfire songs, the event concluded with a spectacular fireworks display.

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