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National Deworming Day 2021 – February 10

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National Deworming Day 2021National Deworming Day (NDD) 2021 is celebrated on 10th February, 2021.NDD is a biannual event celebrated across India to create awareness about worm infection and to eradicate the intestinal worms which is also known as soil Transmitted Helminths(STH) in children aged 1 to 19.

  • In 2021, NDD is observed on 10th February, 2021 with a mop-up day on 15th February, 2021 and the next round of NDD likely to be held in August. 
  • 10th February 2021 marks the 12th round of the National Deworming Day (NDD). 

Objective:

To eradicate parasitic worm infection in preschool and school children. 

Background:

i.National Deworming day is a flagship program of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched in 2015. 

ii.This programme is implemented through the platforms of schools and anganwadis.

iii.As a part of the Mass Drug Administration (MDA) programmes across the globe the ‘Albendazole tablet’. 

Albendazole tablet:

The World Health Organization (WHO) approved ‘Albendazole tablet’ is used for the treatment of intestinal worms in children and adolescents. 

STH:

i.Soil-Transmitted Helminthiases (STH) has a detrimental effect on the physical growth and well being of the children aged between 1 to 14. 

ii.STH can cause anemia, malnourishment, and impaired mental and physical development.

Cause:

STH is transmitted by eggs which are passed in the faeces of infected people. The eggs can contaminate the soil and cause STH in several ways, 

  • eggs that are attached to vegetables are ingested when the vegetables are not carefully cooked, washed or peeled;
  • eggs are ingested from contaminated water sources;
  • eggs are ingested by children who play in the contaminated soil and then put their hands in their mouths without washing them. 

Risk of STH:

i.In India around 241 million children aged between 1 to 14 are at the risk of infection of parasitic intestinal worms or STH. 

ii.Around 28% of the total number of Children across the globe who are at risk of STH infection are in India. 

Implementation of NDD during COVID-19 pandemic:

i.The 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

ii.Since the schools and anganwadis are closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the frontline health workers are trained to administer the Albendazole tablets to the children during home visits or staggered village health sanitation and nutrition Day(VHSND).