National Deworming Day- National Deworming Initiative: India Has the Highest Burden of Helminths (Download PDF)


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India has the highest burden of soil-transmitted helminths–parasitic worms–in the world. The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare launched National Deworming initiative to protect more than 24 crore children in the age group of 1 - 19 years from intestinal worms, on the eve of the National Deworming Day, at Jaipur.

Image of India Child Deworming Initiative

Image of India Child Deworming Initiative

Image of India Child Deworming Initiative

  • Deworming tablets were given to some school-going children.

What is National Deworming Day?

  • National Deworming Day initiative focuses on reducing parasitic worm infections, a widespread health issue affecting over 241 million children in India alone.

  • According to WHO estimates, nearly 24 crore children in the age group of 1 - 14 years are at risk of intestinal parasitic worm infestation.

  • The deworming initiative would help us achieve the aim of ‘Swachh Bharat’

What Are Parasitic Worms?

  • Parasitic worms in children interfere with nutrient uptake, and can contribute to anemia, malnourishment, and impaired mental and physical development.

  • An approximate 48 % of children under the age of 5 years are stunted and 19.8 % are wasted, indicating that half of the country’s children are malnourished.

  • The National Deworming Day is a single fixed-day approach to treating intestinal worm infections in all children aged 1 - 19 years and is held on 10th February and 10th August each year.

  • Anganwadi and school-based mass deworming program is safe, cost-effective, and can reach crores of children quickly.

  • Deworming reduces absenteeism in schools; improves health, nutritional, and learning outcomes; and increases likelihood of higher-wage jobs later in life.

What is Deworming?

  • Deworming (sometimes known as worming or drenching) is a drug to get rid of helminthes, parasites such as round worms, flukes, or tapeworms

  • Timely, high quality, mass-based deworming programme for children of pre-school and school age children in India reduces harm caused by parasitic worm infections in millions of children.

  • Periodic deworming of children together with improved water, sanitation and health education, can reduce the prevalence and detrimental health impacts of parasitic worms.

Medicine Was Administered to Children for Deworming (India)

  • Albendazole was orally administered to pre-school and school-going children ages 1 - 19 years in government schools and anganwadi centres across the states.

Harms from Worms

  • Adult worms live in the intestine where they produce thousands of eggs each day. In areas without sanitation, these eggs contaminate the soil.

  • Worms feed on host tissues, including blood, which leads to a loss of iron and protein.

  • Worms increase mal absorption of nutrients.

  • Roundworm compete for vitamin A in the intestine; some soil-transmitted helminths also cause loss of appetite and, therefore, a reduction of nutritional intake and physical fitness.

  • T. trichiura can cause diarrhoea and dysentery.

- Published/Last Modified on: April 27, 2018

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