Health Ministry conducts 10th round of National Deworming Day, to benefit 30 Cr children

New Delhi: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) conducted the tenth round of National Deworming Day (NDD) yesterday. This will be followed by the mop-up day on 17 February. As part of this campaign, children and adolescents aged 1-19 years are being administered Albendazole (400 mg) across government, government-aided schools, anganwadis, private schools and other educational institutions.

The NDD is implemented with an objective to reduce the prevalence of Soil Transmitted Helminths (STH), commonly called the parasitic intestinal worms, among all children and adolescents. Infections with the main STH – roundworm, whipworm and hookworms – contribute to 50.1 lakh disability adjusted life-years (DALYs) worldwide (WHO, 2010). One DALY can be thought of as one lost “healthy” year from a life. In India, over 22 crore children under 14 years are at risk of STH infections (WHO, 2017).

Launched in 2015, the NDD is the largest public health program implemented on a single day reaching crores of children and adolescents through two NDD rounds every year. This year yesterday, 19 states took up activities to reach 9.35 crore of the target population. NDD will be observed in 34 States & UTs over the next weeks and is expected to reach an estimated 30 crore of the target population according to the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.

Implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Women and Child Development and the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), NDD is a key intervention of Anemia Mukt Bharat. Its success and impact lie in convergence with the Swachh Bharat Mission. NDD presents opportunities to further policy dialogue on health and nutrition as a way of supplementing efforts under POSHAN Abhiyaan.

In preparation for the NDD round yesterday, the Helth Ministry says Anganwadi workers and teachers are trained on community mobilization and administration of deworming tablet. ASHAs, PRI members and youth volunteers engage in the program for community mobilization and awareness about the program.

Deworming through Albendazole is an evidence-based, globally-accepted, effective solution used to control worm infections in all children. However, it can have minor side effects and some children, especially those with high worm infections, might experience nausea, mild abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and fatigue. Comprehensive adverse event protocols are reportedly in place by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to safeguard from these occurrences.

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The ID Staff

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