The National Deworming Day is an initiative of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India to make every child in the country worm free. This is one of the largest public health programs reaching large number of children during a short period.
The first round of National Deworming Day was organised on February 10,2018.Bi-annual round of deworming is recommended in the States where prevalence of STH infection is more than 20% and annual round in other (less than 20% prevalence) states. Only two States namely Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh have reported less than 20% prevalence and recommended for annual round. All the remaining States/UTs are implementing bi-annual round of deworming.
The objective of National Deworming Day is to deworm all preschool and school-age children (enrolled and non-enrolled) between the ages of 1-19 years through the platform of schools and Anganwadi Centers in order to improve their overall health, nutritional status, access to education and quality of life.
50.6 crore children were covered in two rounds (February & August) in 2017 with 88% coverage against the set targets
Why is this needed?
More than 836 million children are at risk of parasitic worm infections worldwide. According to World Health Organization 241 million children between the ages of 1 and 14 years are at risk of parasitic intestinal worms in India, also known as Soil-Transmitted Helminths (STH).
As per the National Family Health Survey 2006 – almost 7 in 10 children between 6 month and 5 years are anaemic, with even higher rates of anaemia in rural areas.
What is STH?
Soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH) is a type of helminth infection (helminthiasis) caused by different species of roundworms. It is caused specifically by those worms which are transmitted through soil contaminated with faecal matter and are therefore called soil-transmitted helminths.
STH infection can lead to Anaemia,Malnutirtion,impaired mental and physical & cognitive development, and reduced school participation.
- Adult worms live in human intestines for food and survival and produce thousands of eggs each day
- Eggs are passed in the faeces of infected person
- Infected people who defecate outdoors spread worm eggs in the soil.
- Eggs contaminate the soil and spread infection in several ways by means of uncooked food, contaminated water and playing in soil.
How can we reduce the infections?
- Eating Properly Cooked Foods
- Drinking Clean Drinking Water
- Good Sanitary Practices
- Avoiding Open Defecation
- Washing Fruits and Vegetables with Clean Water
- Wearing Shoes