National Deworming Day

The goal of National Deworming Day, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s operational guidelines, is to deworm all pre – schools and school age children (enrolled and unenrolled) between the ages of 1 and 19 years through the platform of schools and anganwadi centres in an attempt to optimise their overall health, nutritional status, access to education, and life quality.

The topic has a high probability of being asked as a Current Affairs Question in IAS Prelims and Mains.

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About National Deworming Day

NDD was established in February 2015 in 277 districts across 11 states and union territories (UTs), including Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and Tripura, by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The National Deworming Day (NDD), a day and initiative dedicated to deworming children, was expanded to all districts across the nation in the year of 2016. It has been celebrated twice a year, on February 10 as well as August 10, since then.

All government and government aided schools and anganwadi facilities participate in the deworming programme. Albendazole tablets (a deworming medicine) is given to youngsters on this day. The next day is a Mop Up Day (MUD), with the goal of deworming youngsters who missed the NDD dose.

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Why Intestinal Worms are a Cause of Concern?

Children frequently ingest sufficient calories but nevertheless suffer from malnutrition, owing to a lack of vital vitamins and minerals required for normal physical and mental development in their diets. Furthermore, intestinal worm infection, also known as soil transmitted helminths (STH), causes, aggravates, and intensifies nutritional loss, particularly vitamin A and iron. Micronutrient deficits and worm infestation coexist, resulting in stunted growth and development in children.

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Note: IAS exam could ask basic facts about this topic as it holds international as well as domestic importance.

Significance

According to government statistics, 8.9 crore youngsters (1 to 19 years) were dewormed in the first wave. NDD’s coverage has grown with each round, and then in February 2019, the initiative touched 22.12 crore youngsters.

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