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What is National Deworming Day?

What is National Deworming Day? cover

National Deworming Day is an initiative taken by the Government of India to combat the widespread problem of worm infestation among children in Bharat. This annual campaign aims to provide safe and effective deworming medication to all children between the ages of 1 and 19 years. The primary objective is to reduce the prevalence of soil-transmitted helminths (STH) or worms, which can have a detrimental impact on a child's health and development.

History of National Deworming Day

The first National Deworming Day was observed in India on February 10, 2015. The program was launched by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in collaboration with various other stakeholders, including state governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and international partners such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF.

A Primary school in a small town in India.. AI generated image for National deworking Day. Blog by gaathastory
A Primary school in a small town in India.

The campaign was initiated after recognizing the high burden of worm infections among Indian children. According to WHO estimates, over 220 million children in India are at risk of parasitic worm infections. These infections can lead to malnutrition, anemia, impaired cognitive development, and reduced school attendance.

Celebration and Implementation

National Deworming Day is celebrated annually on February 10th across all states in India. On this day, schools and anganwadi centers become focal points for administering deworming tablets to children. The tablets are provided free of cost by the government.

The program follows a systematic approach where trained healthcare professionals or teachers distribute chewable albendazole tablets to eligible children. These tablets effectively eliminate common intestinal worms like roundworms and hookworms.

Apart from February 10th, periodic deworming drives are also conducted throughout the year in schools and communities to ensure sustained protection against worm infections.

Key Advantages of Deworming

Deworming plays a crucial role in improving overall child health and well-being. Here are some key advantages of deworming:

1. Improved Nutritional Status

Worm infestations can significantly impact a child's nutritional status by impairing nutrient absorption and causing malnutrition. Deworming helps in reducing worm load, thereby improving nutrient uptake and promoting healthy growth.

2. Enhanced Cognitive Development

Parasitic worm infections have been linked to impaired cognitive development in children. By eliminating these infections, deworming contributes to improved cognitive abilities, concentration, and academic performance.

3. Prevention of Anemia

Certain types of worms feed on blood, leading to anemia in infected individuals. Regular deworming helps prevent anemia by reducing the number of worms and their detrimental effects on blood hemoglobin levels.

4. Increased School Attendance

Worm infections often cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, and fatigue, which can result in frequent absenteeism from school. Deworming programs aim to reduce these symptoms and promote regular school attendance among children.

Resources for National Deworming Day

If you are interested in learning more about National Deworming Day or getting involved in related initiatives, here are some helpful resources:

  • Ministry of Health and Family Welfare: The official website provides information about National Deworming Day and other healthcare programs.
  • World Health Organization (WHO): WHO offers comprehensive resources on deworming strategies, guidelines, and global initiatives.
  • UNICEF India: UNICEF actively supports the implementation of National Deworming Day in India and provides valuable insights into its impact.

Remember, National Deworming Day is an important step towards ensuring the well-being of millions of children across India. By participating in or supporting this campaign, we contribute to building a healthier and brighter future for the next generation.

The National Deworming Day initiative was launched in 2015 and is observed bi-annually on February 10 and August 10 in all states and Union territories. The program aims to combat Soil-Transmitted Helminths (STH) or parasitic intestinal worms, which can lead to anemia, malnutrition, impaired physical, mental & cognitive development, and reduced school participation. The Albendazole tablet is used for deworming, which is an evidence-based, globally-accepted, and effective solution to controlling worm infections

Parting Thoughts on National Deworming Day

National Deworming Day is a significant public health initiative in India aimed at reducing worm infestations among children. By providing deworming medication, this annual campaign helps improve child nutrition, cognitive development, and overall well-being. The advantages of deworming include enhanced nutritional status, cognitive development, prevention of anemia, and increased school attendance. It is essential to raise awareness about National Deworming Day and actively participate in its implementation to create a healthier future for our children. The program targets all preschool and school-age children (enrolled and non-enrolled) between the ages of 1-19 years, with the goal of improving their overall health, nutritional status, access to education, and quality of life ( Source: NHP and National Health Mission. )