Eighteen children reportedly complained of illness after taking deworming tablets in Sonipat.
India on Wednesday launched the National Deworming day, covering around 27 crore children across 536 districts. Barring a few incidences of children complaining of abdominal pain after taking the medicine, Albendazole, the programme was conducted uneventfully.
“Of the eighteen children, only three had pain in the abdomen. The rest were fine,” Sonipat Civil Surgeon, Dr Jaswant Punia said. “It is normal for a few to have such reaction when a large number of children are being administered the tablets,” he said.
Abdominal pain is a normal reaction in cases where the intestines are full of worms. “This is a common reaction and there is nothing to worry,” said a senior paediatrician at Lok Nayak Hospital, Delhi. The number of children that was covered in a single day makes it world’s biggest initiative to prevent parasitic worms from infecting children, and hampering their overall development.
In Delhi, 40 lakh children were given the medicine. “Only a few mild cases with abdominal discomfort were seen but nothing serious,” said a Delhi government official.
Those children who missed the dose on Wednesday will be covered in a mop up programme scheduled on February 15.
“The initiative aims to create mass awareness about the most effective and low-cost STH treatment. Along with Albendazole tablets, behaviour change practices in terms of cleanliness, hygiene, use of toilets, wearing shoes, washing hands etc. is also important to reduce incidents of re-infection,” said Union health minister JP Nadda.