More than 11 crore children will be covered in an extensive deworming drive across the country 11 August 2017, the Union health ministry said 10 August 2017. While 7.8 crore children are from private schools, 3.5 crore are out of school children. This will be followed by mop-up activities a week later on August 17 during which 31 crore children will be targeted, said an official statement. 11 August 2017, August 10, is the second round of National Deworming Day, held twice a year. The first NDD was held in February during which 26 crore children were covered.
The NDD programme was launched in 2015. WHO estimates that 220 million children below 14 years in India are at risk of soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH) infections. Under the NDD programme, children aged between 1-19 are provided deworming tablets in schools and anganwadis across the country, except in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh where deworming is carried out once a year. STH prevalence in these two states is less than 20 per cent. Deworming has the potential to improve the nutritional status of children. The deworming tablet, Albendazole, is a safe and efficacious drug. Some children, especially those with high worm infections, might experience nausea, mild abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea and fatigue.
The first NDD was observed in February 2015 with 8.9 crore children across 11 states and UTs administered deworming tablets. It achieved 85 per cent coverage. The following year, 25 crore children were covered in February and 12 crore in August. Besides administering tablets, various health promotion activities related to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) are also organised in schools and anganwadis.