IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

Evidence-based Impact of National Deworming Day in India

21st October, 2020 Health

Soil-Transmitted Helminthiases (STH)

  • It is also known as parasitic intestinal worm infection, is a significant public health concern mostly in low resource settings.
  • These are known to have detrimental effects on children’s physical growth and well being and can cause anemia and under-nutrition.
  • Regular deworming as advised by the World Health Organization eliminates worm infestation among children and adolescents living in areas with high STH burden, thereby contributing to achieve better nutrition and health.

National Deworming Day (NDD)

  • Since its launch in 2015, the NDD a flagship program of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare,, is implemented as a biannual single day programme implemented through the platforms of schools and anganwadis.
  • Albendazole tablet, approved by World Health Organization (WHO), is used for treatment of intestinal worms in children and adolescents as part of Mass Drug Administration (MDA) programmes globally.
  • In India there were an estimated 64% children in the age group (1-14 years) at risk of STH.
  • The risk was estimated based on the hygiene and sanitation practices and limited STH prevalence data at that point of time.
  • To assess the exact burden of STH in India, the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) as the nodal agency to coordinate and conduct nationwide baseline STH mapping.
  • NCDC data showed varied prevalence ranging from 12.5 % in Madhya Pradesh to 85% in Tamil Nadu.
  • Implementation of NDD is led by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in collaboration with the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Education and technical assistance from WHO and the technical partners.