The Union health minister Jagat Prakash Nadda along with state health minister Rajendra Rathore declared February 10 as the National Deworming Day in Jaipur at Panchayati Raj Institution on Monday.
The day will be observed in 11 states and Union Territories including Assam, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, and Haryana among others in the first phase on February 10 to treat 140 million children initially at risk of parasitic worms infection in schools and Anganwadi centres, Nadda said. Medicines would be given to children aged between 1-19 years.
Nadda further added that around 65% children will be covered under the programme on February 10 and the remaining will be covered between February 11 and 14.
The medicines will be given to children up to the age of 5 years at Anganwadi centres, while children aged between 6 to 19 years will be provided medication at all government schools.
Nadda said, “This is a very simple intervention and a very cost-effective technique. This would reduce the disease burden and will have healthy children.”
Prior to Nadda, Rathore said that by 2020, Rajasthan would be free from parasitic worms. Attributing open defecation as the main reason behind infection due to parasitic worms, Rtahore said that during the recently held panchayat elections, it was made compulsory for the candidates contesting the elections to submit affidavits of having toilet and six lakh toilets were built in Rajasthan.
He said geographically Rajasthan is the largest state in the country and cost of service delivery is very costly.
“A lot of work has to be done to reduce infant mortality rate, maternal mortality rate and increase institutional delivery to achieve millennium development goals,” he added. Rathore said a lot of assistance is required from the Centre to achieve this goal.
On this occasion, union health minister along with Rathore and health department officials from Centre and state released ‘ Operational Guidelines for National Deworming Day’ and ‘National Guidelines for Deworming and Pregnancy’.