National Deworming Day 2023: Causes, Symptoms, Prevention & All You Need To Know
National Deworming Day 2023: It is observed on 10 February to raise awareness about the importance of deworming, mainly for children from 1 to 19 years of age. The purpose behind celebrating the day is to reduce the prevalence of Soil-Transmitted Helminths (STH), commonly known as parasitic intestinal worms, among all children and adolescents.
National Deworming Day (NDD) was launched in 2015 and is one of the largest public programmes implemented on a single day reaching crores of children and adolescents via two NDD rounds every year.
The day is an initiative of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India to make every child in the country worm-free. Deworming is done through platforms of schools and Anganwadi centres "to improve their overall health, nutritional status, access to education and quality of life".
As per World Health Organisation (WHO), about 24% population across the world is infected with soil-transmitted helminths worms. In India, around 241 million children of age groups 1 and 14 years are at risk of parasitic intestinal worms which are known as soil-transmitted helminths.
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How does worm infection cause in children?
Worm infection can be caused due to various factors in children including lack of personal hygiene, uncooked and contaminated food, and excess sweets and junk food consumption.
What are the symptoms?
- Abdominal pain
- Diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting
- Unexplained weight loss
- Abdominal pain or tenderness
About Soil-Transmitted Helminths (STH)
Those worms or helminths which are transmitted through soil contaminated with faecal matter are known as soil-transmitted helminths or intestinal parasitic worms. Various types of worms are there that infect people including roundworm, whipworm, and hookworm.
How is STH transmitted?
- Worms in adults live in the intestines for food and survival. They produce thousands of eggs each day.
- These eggs are passed in the faeces of an infected person.
- Infected person who defecate outdoors spread eggs of the worms into the soil.
- These worms are injected through vegetables that are not washed, cooked or peeled carefully.
- They are also ingested from contaminated water sources.
- These worms are ingested in children through the soil. Children play in the soil and then put their hands in their mouths without washing them.
Infection caused by STH can lead to anaemia, malnutrition, impaired mental and physical % cognitive development, and reduced school participation.
How is STH infection prevented?
- Use sanitary toilets.
- Do not defecate outside.
- Properly wash hands mainly before eating and after using the toilets.
- Wear slippers and shoes.
- Wash fruits and vegetables properly in safe and clean water.
- Eat properly cooked food.
Purpose of National Deworming Day
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