The National Deworming Day is celebrated every year on 10 February and 10 August with the aim of treating intestinal worm infections in all children aged between 1- 19 years.
The National Deworming Day is the initiative taken by the Government of India’s the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare with a goal to make every child worm free in the country. This is one of the largest public health programs taken by the government reaching a large number of children during a short period.
According to the World Health Organization, approx 240 million children between the ages of 1 and 14 years are at higher risk of parasitic intestinal worms in India, which is also known as Soil-Transmitted Helminths (STH).
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What are Soil-Transmitted Helminths (STH)?
Helminths or worms which are mainly transmitted through when the soil contaminated with the fecal matter also known as soil-transmitted helminths. There are mainly three common worms including roundworm, whipworm, and hookworms that infect people.
How STH are Transmitted?
Following are some of the cases through which STH can be transmitted including;
- Most of the adult worms live in the intestines of the body for food and survival and produce about thousands of eggs each day.
- These eggs are passed in the feces of an infected person.
- Then an infected people who defecate outside spread worm eggs in the soil.
- These eggs contaminate the soil and spread infection in several ways like through vegetables, water sources, and through children who play in the soil.
- STH infections can lead to anemia, impaired mental and physical & cognitive development, malnutrition, and reduced school participation.
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How Can we Prevent STH Infections?
Following are some of the basic things that can help in the prevention of STH Infections including;
- Using sanitary toilets, not defecating outdoor.
- Washing hands, particularly before eating and after using toilets
- Wearing slippers and shoes
- Washing vegetables and fruits in safe and clean water
- Eating properly cooked vegetable food
What are the Objectives of the National Deworming Day?
The main objective of this Day is to deworm all children between the ages of 1-19 years through schools and Anganwadi Centers in order to improve their overall health, access to education, nutritional status, and quality of life.
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