NATIONAL DEWORMING DAY (NDD)
Context: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) recently conducted the 10th round of National Deworming Day (NDD).
KEY HIGHLIGHTS As part of this campaign, children and adolescents aged 1-19 years are being administered Albendazole (400 mg) across government, government-aided schools, anganwadis, private schools and other educational institutions.
OBJECTIVE: The NDD is implemented with an objective to reduce the prevalence of Soil Transmitted Helminths (STH), commonly called the parasitic intestinal worms, among all children and adolescents.
ABOUT NATIONAL DEWORMING DAY (NDD)
Every year February 10 and August 10 is observed as the National Deworming Day (NDD).
Launched in 2015, the NDD is the largest public health program implemented on a single day reaching crores of children and adolescents through two NDD rounds every year. This year, 19 states took up activities to reach 9.35 crore of the target population and it will be observed in 34 States/UTs over the next weeks and is expected to reach an estimated 30 crore of the target population.
NDD is implemented in close collaboration with the Ministry of Women and Child Development and Ministry of Human Resource Development. It is a key intervention of Anemia Mukt Bharat. NDD presents opportunities to further policy dialogue on health and nutrition as a way of supplementing efforts under POSHAN Abhiyaan.
In February 2015, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare constituted NDD in 277 districts of 11 States and Union Territories (UTs) including Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and Tripura.
In 2016, the NDD, a day and programme dedicated to deworm children, was scaled up to cover all the districts across the country. Since then it is observed twice a year on February 10 and August 10, across the nation.
STATUS IN INDIA
According to the World Health Organisation, about 241 million children in India in the ages of 1-14 years are at a risk of parasitic intestinal worms or STH. This means, India accounts for approximately 28% of the total number of children globally estimated to be at-risk of STH infections.
Infections with the main STH – roundworm, whipworm and hookworms – contribute to 50.1 lakh disability adjusted life-years (DALYs) worldwide (WHO, 2010). One DALY can be thought of as one lost “healthy” year from a life.
WHAT ARE INTESTINAL WORMS? Intestinal worms are those parasites that live in the human intestines and which consume nutrients and vitamins that a child consumes. There are basically three major types of STH that infect people, roundworm (Ascaris lumbricoides), whipworm (Trichuris trichiura) and hookworms (Necator americanus and Ancylostoma duodenale). Being parasitic in nature, these worms depend on the human body for their food and survival and while being there, they lay thousands of eggs each day.
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