Shri J P Nadda launches 2nd National Deworming initiative

Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare launched the 2nd National Deworming Day, to cover the whole country, at a function in Hyderabad.

National Deworming Day is a groundbreaking initiative focused on reducing the threat of parasitic worm infections, a widespread health issue affecting over 241 million children in India alone. India has the highest burden of soil-transmitted helminths–parasitic worms–in the world.

Parasitic worms in children interfere with nutrient uptake, and can contribute to anemia, malnourishment, and impaired mental and physical development. According to the 2012 report ‘Children in India’, published by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Govt. of India, 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.

                            Deworming has been shown to reduce absenteeism in schools, improve learning outcomes, and increase the likelihood of higher wage jobs later in life. The timely, high quality, mass-based deworming programme for children of pre-school and school age children in India will dramatically reduce the harm caused by parasitic worm infections in millions of children in India. Periodic deworming of children together with improved water, sanitation and health education, can significantly reduce the prevalence and detrimental health impacts of parasitic worms in children

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

Soil-transmitted helminth infections are among the most common infections worldwide and affect the poorest and most deprived communities. They are transmitted by eggs present in human faeces which in turn contaminate soil in areas where sanitation is poor.  Adult worms live in the intestine where they produce thousands of eggs each day. In areas that lack adequate sanitation, these eggs contaminate the soil.

It impairs the nutritional status of the people they infect in multiple ways; the worms feed on host tissues, including blood, which leads to a loss of iron and protein; the worms increase mal absorption of nutrients. In addition, roundworm may possibly 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. In particular, T. trichiura can cause diarrhoea and dysentery.


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