GUWAHATI, Feb 3 - Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Health Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma today launched the National Deworming Day (NDD) at the State level. The Day will be observed in all districts of Assam tomorrow.
During the NDD, all children and adolescents in the age group 1 to 19 years will be dewormed with Albendazole tablets. The deworming tablets will be given at Anganwadi centres and schools – both government and private. Children who are not able to take the tablets on February 4 will be given deworming tablets on Mop-up-Day on February 11. Albendazole is safe for consumption and is certified by the WHO.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), an estimated 241 million children and adolescents in the age group of 1 and 19 years are at risk of parasitic intestinal worms in India, known as soil-transmitted Helminthes (STH). These children represent approximately 68 per cent of children in this age-group and approximately 28 per cent of the number of children estimated to be at risk of STH infections globally. These parasitic infections result from poor sanitation and hygiene conditions, and are easily transmitted among children through contact with infected soil.
With an aim to intensify efforts towards Soil Transmitted Helminthes (STH) control among children in India, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, has decided to observe the National Deworming Day all over the country twice a year.
The State Health Society has jointly planned the programme in association with the Education department, Social Welfare department, PHED and P&RD to administer deworming tablets to children of all schools, Anganwadi centres, out-of-school, unregistered children and children from orphanages, special shelter homes and street children.
The consequences of chronic worm infestation in children are both widespread and debilitating. Worms can cause anaemia and under-nutrition, thereby impairing mental and physical development.
The objective of NDD is to deworm all preschool and school-age children in order to improve their overall health, nutritional status, access to education and quality of life.
NHM mission director JVN Subramaniam has appealed to parents and teachers of the children to deworm their wards for their overall mental and physical development, including cognitive development.