One hour after lunch on Wednesday, as many as 79,78,626 children in the age group of one to 19 in the State will be administered Albendazole 400 mg, a deworming tablet, in schools and anganwadis.
As part of the second round of the National Deworming Day, teachers in all anganwadis, government, aided and government residential schools have been trained in administering the chewable tablet. The first round was conducted on February 10.
Although students are being administered the weekly iron and folic acid tablets (every Monday) in the State, the high prevalence of soil transmitted helminths (STH) or parasitic worms has necessitated a bi-annual school- and anganwadi-based deworming programme in the State, said State nodal officer for Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) Prabhu Dev B. Gowda.
A flagship initiative of the Union Health Ministry, the National Deworming Day is a nationwide, preschool (anganwadi) and school-based programme. For those who miss out on Wednesday because of sickness or absenteeism, a mop-up round will be carried out on August 17.
Dr. Gowda said worm infections were the root cause of iron deficiency anaemia, malnutrition and Vitamin A deficiency in children.
Adverse event management protocol teams have been set up in primary health centres, community health centres and taluk and district hospitals. Each team includes a paediatrician and staff nurse, Dr. Gowda said. Albendazole is found to be an ideal medicine for mass deworming. Side effects are mild and can include nausea, vomiting, and dizziness, especially in children with high worm loads, he added.