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14 States reported reduction in prevalence of Soil-Transmitted Helminthiases (STH):MoHFW

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14 States report reduction in prevalence of parasitic intestinal worm infectionIn accordance with the Ministry of Health And Family Welfare (MoHFW) Fourteen states have reported a reduction in parasitic intestinal worm infection or Soil-Transmitted Helminthiases (STH) which has a harmful effect on children’s physical growth and can cause anaemia and under-nutrition.

  • This feat has been achieved due to the regular deworming through Albendazole tablet as advised and approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) for treatment of intestinal worms in children and adolescents (1-19 years) living in areas with high STH burden. It is a part of Mass Drug Administration (MDA) programmes globally. 
  • Notably, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh (HP), Meghalaya, Sikkim, Telangana, Tripura, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar have shown substantial reduction in worm prevalence.

Points to be Noted:

National Deworming Day (NDD): It is a flagship program of the MoHFW launched in 2015 to make every child in the country worm free. It is conducted on February 10 each year through the platforms of schools and anganwadis while Bi-annual round are recommended in the States where prevalence of STH infection is more than 20%.

  • Implementation of NDD is led by the MoHFW, in collaboration with the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD), Ministry of Education (MoE) and technical assistance from WHO and the technical partners.

Nodal Agency: To assess the exact burden of STH in India, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare appointed the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) as the nodal agency to coordinate and conduct nationwide baseline STH mapping. 

This year the schools and Anganwadis remain closed amid COVID-19, therefore frontline health workers are trained to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines while administering Albendazole tablets to children and adolescents during home visits or through staggered Village Health Sanitation and Nutrition Day (VHSND) based model between August and October 2020.

Recent Related News:

i.NITI Aayog in partnership with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Centre for Social and Behavioural Change (CSBC) of Ashoka University, MoHFW, and Ministry of WCD launched the behaviour change campaign ‘Navigating the New Normal’ and its website to spread awareness about COVID-19 in “Unlock” phase.

ii.The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare introduced the National Patient Safety Implementation Framework (NP SIF) (2018-2025) in 2018 with the focus on Patients Safety as the fundamental element of healthcare.

About Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW):
Union Minister– Dr. Harsh Vardhan (Constituency- Chandni Chowk, Delhi)
Minister of State (MoS)– Ashwini Kumar Choubey