The Institute of Public Health Nutrition has postponed vitamin A plus campaign slated for tomorrow as it received reports of the capsules being attached to one another in the packets.
“There have been some reports from the field that the red capsules are glued to one another in the packets. We then discussed the matter with the higher authorities and decided to postpone the campaign,” said Dr Gazi Ahmed Hasan, deputy programme manager at the IPHN, last night.
The campaign, which was set to cover some 2.2 crore children, will be conducted in a later date, he told The Daily Star.
Nothing harmful has been detected in the capsules, but as it is a huge programme and children are involved in it. There could be a negative impression about the programme, he said, adding, “Therefore, we did not want to take any risks.”
A seven-member committee, led by Prof Enayet Hussain, additional DG of Directorate General of Health Services, has been formed to investigate the matter, he said.
Children between six and 11 months get a dose of blue coloured capsule and those aged between 12 and 59 months get a dose of red vitamin A capsule.
The programme, which began in 1994, is conducted twice a year and the coverage rate is 98 percent in the country and is considered a massive. The supplementary nutrition is vital for child growth and development.
Vitamin A strengthens children's immune system, reduce frequency of diarrhoea and measles, and prevent night blindness.
Central Medical Store Depot, an organisation under the health and family welfare ministry, imported the vitamin A capsules through tendering process.
The source country of the capsules and the dates of import could not be known immediately.