Students in over one lakh schools in Madhya Pradesh were given deworming tablets on Wednesday as part of a nation-wide drive to flush out parasitic worms that suck the body dry of nutrients and cause anaemia and malnourishment.
Children aged between one and 19 years in anganwadis, primary and secondary schools were given the chewable tablet, Albendazole of 400 mg, under the Centre’s flagship initiative. The state government has set a target to deworm 1, 51, 01,901 children till February 15.
According to a report by the World Health Organisation (WHO), India has the highest burden of parasitic worms with 220 million children in between one and 19 years of age, vulnerable to worm infections. Parasitic worms interfere with nutrient absorption, can impair mental and physical development.
According to a 2012 report, “Children in India”, published by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation of the Centre, 48% of children under the age of five years are stunted and 19.8% are wasted, indicating that half of the country’s children are malnourished.
This is the second round of deworming as the state was one of the 11 states and union territory to have participated in the first National Deworming Day on 10 February, 2015.
The state has trained teachers, anganwadi workers among other for the smooth conduct of the event. As part of a mop-up programme till February 15, the state aims to deworm 9, 47,865 children who are not registered in any school.
50 students from Raisen and Bhind fell unconscious after chewing the tablets.
Chief medical and health officer, Bhind, Dr Rakesh Sharma said the students are discharged from the hospital and are out of danger.