The National Deworming Day is observed on February 10 by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Objective: To deworm children between the ages of (1-19) at schools and anganwadi centres.
This year for the first time, the Ministry has decided to give the deworming tablets to the private schools children also.
The government of India had launched the initiative in 2015, making it one of the largest single-day public health initiatives in India.
Necessity of deworming children:
Worm infections can cause anemia, malnourishment, impaired mental and physical development; and may cause a serious threat to children’s health, education, and productivity. According to a study, the infected children cannot concentrate on their studies and they find very hard to put up their daily activities.
Necessity of deworming programme in India:
According to WHO, India has the highest burden of Soil-Transmitted Helminths (STH) in the world, with 220 million children aged 1-14 estimated to be at risk of worm infections. Almost 7 in 10 children between 6 month and 5 years are anaemic, with even higher rates of anaemia in rural areas, the 2006 National Family Health Survey reported.
Deworming tablet and its side effects:
Children at the age of (1-2) are given half a tablet of albendazole (400mg), and above the age of 2 are given 1 full tablet of albendazole (400mg) to chew.
Albendazole is very safe and has very few side effects and it occurs with mild side effects like nausea and diarrhea and pass quickly
Soil-Transmitted Helminths (STHs):
According to WHO, Soil-Transmitted Helminths (STH) or parasitic worms are among the most common infections worldwide. It lives in human intestines and consume nutrients meant for the human body. They produce thousands of eggs each day, which are passed in faeces and spread to others in areas used for public toilet.