New Delhi: About 241 million children between the ages 1 – 14 years in India are at risk of parasitic intestinal worms, known as Soil-Transmitted Helminths (STH), according to World Health Organisation. That is about 68 per cent of India’s or 7 out of 10 children in this age-group are at risk of STH infections. Further that means that India accounts for approximately 28 per cent of the total number of children globally estimated to be at-risk of STH infections. These infections can have a major impact on the nutritional status of children. But what exactly are STH and deworming. Here’s all you need to know:
1. Types Of Worms Affecting Children:
There are three main types of STH that infect people, roundworm (Ascaris lumbricoides), whipworm (Trichuris trichiura) and hookworms (Necator americanus and Ancylostoma duodenale). The adult worms live in human intestines for food and survival where they produce thousands of eggs, each day. Those who are infected then become the source for spreading the infection by defecating in the open and contaminating the soil. Vegetables grown in this contaminated soil or water sources polluted due to the open defecation then spread the worms through consumption or contact with water through washing of hands or bathing or even simply by playing in the open grounds where the soil carries the worms.
2. Effects Of Worms Among Children
Intestinal worm infections affect child morbidity as they obstruct the nutritional status of children they infect in several ways. The most common effect of worms is anaemia, which occurs as these worms feed on host (human body) tissues, including blood, resulting in loss of iron and protein.
Children with worms are often underweight and have stunted growth as worms can increase the malabsorption, a condition that prevents absorption of nutrients through the small intestine. For instance, roundworms may absorb the Vitamin A in the intestine. Some worms can also lead to loss of appetite, reducing nutritional intake and physical fitness, and causing to diarrhoea and dysentery.
The process of killing the intestinal worms through medication is known as deworming. The Government of India provides and recommends two safe drugs in the form of tablets, namely Albendazole and Mebendazole, for the treatment of intestinal worms. The dosage is prescribed on the bases of a child’s age.
4. National Deworming Day
With the aim to spread awareness and eradicate intestinal worms among children in India, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, observes the National Deworming Day (NDD) twice a year on February 10 and August 10 across the nation, since 2015. The NDD is followed by Mop-Up Day (MUD) a few days later, with the intent of deworming children who missed the dose on the main day. The activity is carried out in all government and government aided schools as well as Anganwadi centers throughout the country.
5. Scope Of National Deworming Day
The Deworming Day is implemented through the combined efforts of Department of School Education and Literacy under Ministry of Human Resource and Development, Ministry of Women and Child Development and Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and is the largest single day public health program in the world, as per UNICEF.
According to the government data, the programme started in February 2015 by covering about 8.9 crore children and adolescents falling in the age group of 1-19 years, and saw a massive improvement in the number of beneficiaries in just one year by covering 17.9 crore people in February 2016. As of NDD 2019, the programme has claimed to reach about 32.81 crore children and adolescents, an increase of 23.91 crore children in 5 years.
Leaving No One Behind
Delhi’s Northwest District Launches 4-Day COVID Vaccination Drive For Transgender People
Activists say misinformation, lack of proper documents and digital divide are to be blamed for the low vaccination coverage in...
5.22% Transgender Persons Vaccinated Till Now; Activists Say Misinformation Adding To Their Problems
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has also requested states to organise separate mobile COVID-19 vaccination centres or booths...
Discrimination And Barriers Make Access To Quality Healthcare A Challenge For Many Transgenders
Transgender individuals have specific healthcare needs; however, they face multiple obstacles to accessing quality health care ranging from social stigma...
Uttar Pradesh’s First Transgender-Only Toilet Built In Varanasi
According to an official at the municipal corporation of Varanasi, the operation and maintenance of the toilet complex has been...
Mental Health Explained: What Is Depression?
People who have gone through adverse life events like bereavement, psychological trauma are more likely to develop depression: WHO
Mental Health Explained: What Is Post-traumatic Stress Disorder?
PTSD is an intense physical and emotional response to thoughts and reminders of the event: CDC, United States
How Can Parents Support Children Dealing With Mental Health Issues Like Anxiety And Depression
Remember, a change in a child’s behaviour like mood swings and angry outbursts is an indication of inner turmoil, said...
Upward Trend In Suicide Cases: How Can You Identify Red Signals In Time?
Studies show that suicide is the leading cause of death among 15-29 year old in India. What compels young adults...
Each COVID-19 Surge Poses A Risk For Healthcare Workers: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
The surging Delta variant is heaping on fresh trauma as the United States and other nations begin to study Post-Traumatic...
PM Modi Launches 35 Special Crops To Address Climate Change, Malnutrition
PM Narendra Modi Launches 35 Special Crop Varieties In India: According to the PM's Office or PMO, 35 crop varieties...
Study Shows Young Generations Are Severely Threatened By Climate Change
Children will be hit much harder by climate extremes than today's adults, finds a study
20 Million Tons Of Bio-Pellets Made From Farm Stubble To Be Obtained By Power Ministry And NTPC
The power ministry will soon make it compulsory for thermal power plants to use 10 per cent biomass in which...
Estimated 57,000 Premature Deaths In Delhi Last Year Can Be Attributed To Air Pollution: Greenpeace
WHO updated its air quality guidelines for the first time in 15 years