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Delhi Government launched the third phase of Mass Deworming Programme for school children

Apr 16, 2015 18:18 IST

The Delhi Government on 16 April 2015 launched the third phase of the Mass Deworming Programme. The third phase aims to cover over 3.7 million children from 3032 schools and 11500 anganwadis as part of this statewide campaign.

The third phase of the programme, in vogue since 2012, was launched by the Directorate of Health Services of Delhi in collaboration with the Department of Family Welfare and with technical assistance from Evidence Action’s Deworm the World Initiative.

As part of the campaign, a chewable Albendazole tablet will be administered to the students from Class 3rd to class 12th and suspension Albendazole for class Nursery students. Albendazole is a benzimidazole medication used for the treatment of a variety of parasitic worm infestations.

The third phase of the programme was launched as part of the state level campaign of the National Deworming Day.

Union Government had declared 10 February 2015 as National Deworming Day which provides for a fixed one-day school-based programme to leverage intensive deworming coverage and targeted outreach.

Mass Deworming Programme

The Mass Deworming Programme is a part of the school health scheme called Chacha Nehru Sehat Yojna which was launched by Delhi Government under the then Chief Minister Sheila Dixit in 2012. The Yojana is supported by Deworm the World (DtW).

Status of soil-transmitted parasitic worms in India

World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics show that parasitic worms are a significant public health concern for India, with 241 million children aged between one and 14 at risk.

India has the highest burden of soil-transmitted parasitic worms, helminths in the world. Parasitic worms in children interfere with nutrient uptake, and can contribute to anaemia, malnourishment and impaired mental and physical development.

School-based deworming is universally recognized as a safe, simple and cost-effective solution. The benefits of school-based deworming are both immediate and enduring. Regular treatment can reduce school absenteeism by 25% and increase adult earnings by over 20%.

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