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3,800,000 children spend vacations in summer camps in Russia this summer

August 16, 2012, 5:42 UTC+3

According to Onishchenko, the health improvement effect among children after vacations at summer camps is 88.9 percent

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MOSCOW, August 16 (Itar-Tass) —— Three million and 800,000 Russian children, including one million and 200,000 children from children’s homes, spent their vacations at summer camps, head of Russia’s consumer rights protection authority (Rospotrebnadzor) Gennady Onishchenko told a briefing.

He also said that as many as 260,000 of them spent vacations at seaside camps. At the same time he expressed regret that the number of such children has been going down in the past two years.

According to Onishchenko, the health improvement effect (or the number of children who gain in weight and height) among children after vacations at summer camps is 88.9 percent. “In all, since 2008, the health improvement effect at summer camps has increased by ten percent,” he noted.

He drew attention to two problems linked with children’s simmer vacationing. Not all families, in his words, can afford to send their children to summer camps because of financial considerations. “This summer, fourteen children’s camps were idling because they failed to sell vouchers,” Onishchenko said. “Vouchers are too expensive. Subsidies are needed.”

The other problem is control over the quality of foods served at children’s camps. Thus, 2.3 percent of samples of first and second dishes taken by sanitary doctors at catering establishments at summer camps proved low quality of foodstuffs. He reminded that from July 23 a law lifting some restrictions under federal law 94 came into force. Under the law, the chief criterion in tenders for catering services was the price. Onishechnko however has repeatedly called for stricter control of the quality of products. Now, he said, the situation will change. “We will have legal tools to sort out negligent suppliers,” he stressed.

Higher quality of foods will reduce the number of enteric outbreaks at children’s camps. A total of 15 outbreaks of infectious diseases have been registered this summer, Onishchenko noted. A total of 408 people, including 402 children, caught infections. Such cases were reported in Kostroma, in the republic of Buryatia, in the Volgograd and Askrakhan regions, and in other regions. In 2011, there were more such cases – 20 outbreaks affected 830 people, including 777 children.

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