A study by World Health Organization (WHO) indicated that 241 million children (68%) in India between the age group of 1 to 14 years are at risk for parasitic intestinal worms.
Studies indicate that intestinal worms can cause chronic intestinal blood loss that result in anemia, under nutrition and impairment of mental and physical development.
Government of India has already launched National Deworming Day in 11 States/UT of India namely Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Dadra Nagar Haveli, Haryana, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Tripura.
The Salient Features Of This Initiative Are As Follows:
- All pre-school and school-age children (enrolled and non-enrolled) between the ages of 1 - 19 years were administered deworming drug i.e. Albendazole tablets through the platform of schools and anganwadi centres in order to improve their overall health, nutritional status, access to education and quality of life.
- Anganwadi workers provided deworming drug to all pre-school children (1-5 years) and all out of school children (6-19 years) at the Anganwadi centres and School teachers provided deworming drug to all school enrolled children of 6-19 years age as per the National guidelines.
- In addition, Government has provided detailed guidelines for implementation of deworming intervention alongwith training, awareness generation and ensuring sufficient stock supply of deworming drug. There are specific guidelines / protocols for adverse event management as well.
- National Deworming Day was launched in 280 districts across 11 States/UT. With an aim to avoid duplication of intervention, lymphatic filariasis endemic districts in these 11 states were excluded as administration of Albendazole is part of Mass Drug Administration (MDA) regime under lymphatic filariasis program.
The Health Minister, Shri J P Nadda stated this in a written reply in the Lok Sabha here today.