National Deworming initiative Current Affairs

Government launches National Deworming initiative

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) launched National Deworming Initiative on the occasion of National Deworming Day (observed on 10 February). It aims to reach more than 32.2 crore children aged between 1 to 19 years to combat parasitic worm infections. This year it is fourth edition of National Deworming Day after it was launched in 2015.

National Deworming Day

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 10 February and 10 August each year. It aims to conduct mass deworming program to mobilize health personnel, state governments and other stakeholders to prioritize investment in control of Soil Transmitted Helminth (STH) infections—one of the most common infections.

Goal of the day is to deworm all preschool and school-age children between the ages of 1-19 years in order to improve their overall health, cognitive development, nutritional status and quality of life. On this day, Albendazole tablets are given to all targeted children. Dosage of half tablet to 1-2 years children and one full tablet for 2-19 years is given. It also spreads behaviour change practices in terms of cleanliness, hygiene, use of toilets, wearing shoes/chappals, washing hands etc. is also important to reduce incidents of re-infection.

Implementation of deworming programmes is led by the Union MoHFW. The Department of School Education and Literacy under the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) and Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) also collaborate to implement the day. Ministries of Panchayati Raj, Tribal Affairs, Drinking Water and Sanitation, Rural Development and Urban Development are also other key stakeholders.

STH or Parasitic worms infestation

Parasitic worms or Soil-Transmitted Helminths (STH) are among the most common infections worldwide that causing parasitic infestation with nutrient uptake in small children. STHs live in human intestines and consume essential nutrients meant for the human body. It causes complications among the children resulting in anaemia, malnutrition and improper mental and physical development. Each day, parasitic worms produce thousands of eggs which are passed in human faeces and spread to others by contaminating soil in areas where open defecation predominant and sanitation is poor.

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First National Deworming Day observed on 10 February

First National Deworming Day was observed on 10 February.

On the eve of the National Deworming Day, Union Ministry for Health & Family Welfare launched the National Deworming initiative.

It was launched by Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare Jagat Prakash Nadda in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

National Deworming initiative

  • Aim: To protect more than 24 crore children in India between the age of 1 to 19 years from intestinal worms. It also aims target intestinal parasitic worms among the children to achieve status of being Worm-free.
  • It is one of the largest programmes in the world undertaken to deworm children.
  • In the first phase, about 14 crore children will be covered across eleven States/UT. They are, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Tripura.
  • Albendazole tablets will be given to all targeted children in first phase. Dosage of half tablet to 1-2 years children and one full tablet for 2-19 years will be given.
  • While in second phase, nearly 10 crore children will be targeted between 11 February and 14 February 2015.

Parasitic worms infestation

Worms interfere with nutrient uptake in small children causing parasitic infestation. It leads to severe complications among the children resulting in anemia, malnutrition and improper mental and physical development.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates, nearly 24 crore children in India in the age group of 1-14 years are at risk of intestinal parasitic worm infestation.

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