National Deworming Day to be launched on Monday

Updated - February 07, 2015 10:09 am IST

Published - February 07, 2015 12:00 am IST - JAIPUR:

Union Health and Family Welfare Minister J. P. Nadda will launch a National Deworming Day here on Monday which will be followed by administering deworming tablets to over 140 million school children across the country on Tuesday.

Worms negatively impact millions of at-risk children in India. Soil transmitted helminthes (STH) are a significant public health concern for the country, with the World Health Organisation estimating 241 million - 68 per cent - children between the ages of 1-14 years to be at risk of parasitic intestinal worm infections.

The burden of the disease from STH is mainly attributed to their chronic and insidious impact on the health and quality of life of those infected rather than to the mortality they cause. Infections of heavy intensity impair physical growth and cognitive development and are a cause of micronutrient deficiencies leading to poor school performance, cognitive development and absenteeism in children.

Maximum coverage

A fixed National Deworming Day on February 10 and a Mop-Up Day on February 13 to cover students who might be left out earlier, will ensure maximum coverage with optimal utilisation of resources by leveraging existing programmes and infrastructure in addition motivate States to prioritise deworming within current anganwadi and school health programmes, increase awareness and standardize campaign messages across the country. All government and aided schools and anganwadi centres will be the sites for administering deworming tablets since all pre-school and school age children up to the age of 19 years would be covered.

“Deworming is quick, safe and easy. Dewormed children have improved health and education outcomes,” Priya Jha, Director (India), Evidence Action – Deworm the World Initiative which is partnering with the Central government in implementing the programme, told The Hindu .

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