Deworming day is a day dedicated to deworm all the school going children of the country to give them a healthy digestive system. It is a government mission held on 10th of February aimed to reduce the cases of worm infection among kids all over India.

National Deworming Day 2018

National Deworming Day 2018 is celebrated all over India on 10th of February, at Saturday every year.

Deworming Tablet Distribution Dates 2017 in following States:

10th February: Andaman & Nicobar, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Nagaland, Puducherry, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and Tripura.

11th February: Chandigarh, Lakshadweep.

15th February: Haryana

10th March: Sikkim

10th April: Meghalaya

27th April: Himachal Pradesh

10th August: Jammu & Kashmir

History of National Deworming Day

To combat the situation of worm infection in India, Indian government (Ministry of Health and Family Welfare) launched the National Deworming Day (NDD) in February 2015 as part of the National Health Mission. The aim of this programme is to deworm all the children from 1 to 19 years and improve their well-being. To run the programme successfully and to achieve the goal, all the school teachers and workers are provided special training and resource material. It has emerged as world’s largest public health campaign preventing children from intestinal parasitic worms.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India is responsible for providing all States and UTs the benefits of this program. Other stakeholders are Ministry of Human Resource Development, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministries of Panchayati Raj, Urban Development, Rural Development, Tribal Welfare, Drinking Water and Sanitation. In 2015, this programme was launched in 11 States/UT with the target of benefitting 10.31 crore children of 1 to 19 years whereas 8.98 crore children received deworming tablet.

The target of this programme in 2016 was to cover approximately 27 crore children. Along with administering albendazole tablets, some other activities are also performed such as behaviour change practices, cleanliness and hygiene guide, use of toilets, wearing shoes or slipper, washing hands before eating food and after using toilet, etc in order to reduce the incidents of re-infection. In 2017, it is estimated to cover around 34 crore children under ministry of health’s National Deworming Programme to reduce worm infestation hampering the growth of schoolgoers.

Why National Deworming Day is Observed

National Deworming Day is observed in our country to reduce the cases of worm infections among kids. Kids are vulnerable to the worm infections in their childhood, so it is very necessary to save them from worm infection through good habit (hygienic) practices and deworming tablets. Digestive system disorders (especially infection) are very common to anyone especially children as it is the only system has to tackle with raw and cooked materials (food and water) from outside that may be dirty. Children are the future of the nation; they must be healthy and happy in all the sense. National Deworming Day is a big initiative campaign run by the government of India (Ministry of Health and Family Welfare) to make people aware about worm infections, its bad effects on the health and cure and prevent further infection through deworming tablets. Worm infection can make children anaemic, malnourished, weak, sick, and tired with poor concentration.

This campaign is implemented by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India in all the schools and preschools (anganwadis) across India on 10th of February. It is implemented aiming to combat parasitic worm infections among school going kids (preschool, school) by the use of albendazole (400 mg). It is a chewable tablet distributed to the children at all government, government-aided, and private schools including anganwadis.

It is found that some states in India are more STH prevalence such as,

  • High prevalence (>50%) states are Arunachal Pradesh, UP, Sikkim, Chhattisgarh, Nagaland, J&K, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Mizoram, Assam, Uttarakhand, Daman & Diu, Lakhsadweep, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu.
  • Moderate prevalence (20% – 50%) states are Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Manipur, Jharkhand, Andaman & Nicobar, Bihar, Maharashtra, Goa, Odisha, Puducherry, Punjab, Gujarat, Meghalaya, West Bengal and Tripura.
  • Low prevalence (<20%) states are Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

So, in order to ensure safety of children from worm infections, deworming is very necessary. Everyone must involve and support this campaign to make it a successful health programme of India and to make this nation worm infection free.

What is Special

Deworming tablets will be given free of cost to all the children (1 to 19 years) on 10th of February to ensure that all the children are dewormed. This initiative has a specialty that it will be followed again by a ‘mop-up day’ on 15th of February in order to distribute the deworming tablets to the children who were left or absent (due to absenteeism) in the school on 10th February.

All the children (from age-group 1 to 19 years) are benefited under this campaign. Children of age group (1 to 5 years) are distributed tablets at the Anganwadi whereas children of age group (6 to 19 years) are distributed tablets in their school. Other children, who are unregistered or out of the school, will also receive tablets at the anganwadi.

Children of age group 1 to 2 years are given half of tablet (albendazole 400mg) with water, children above 2 years are given 1 full tablet (albendazole 400mg) to chew.

Goal of this Campaign

The major goal of the campaign is to deworm all the school going children (preschool and school) between the ages of 1-19 years. It is implemented to improve the overall health for a better cognitive development among kids so that they can get a quality life in future.

Infection through parasitic worms (soil transmitted helminths-STH) is very famous infection in children among the most common infections worldwide. According to the WHO, around 220 million children (from 1 to 14 years) in India are at risk of STH infection. STH attack and live in human intestine, consume nutrients and lays thousands of eggs each day which go out through faeces and spread cause infection to others through soil. Children are at more risk who are used to of open defecation and sanitation is poor.

Why do children in India need Deworming

Worm infection is very harmful, specially in kids, which interferes with the mental and physical health of the children which put their future at risk. It interferes with the nutrient uptake of kids and creates various problems such as anemia, malnourishment, and other mental physical disorders. Deworming is a very necessary step taken by the government for children’s health, education and productivity. Infected children easily get sick, tired and lose their concentration level.

Deworming through tablets is universally recognized and very safe and cost-effective method to achieve high take-up of preventive healthcare. Huge population of children in India is at high risk of soil-transmitted helminths than other countries in the world. According to the survey of National Family Health in 2006, it is very common in rural areas where 7 out of 10 children are anaemic and need a special treatment. However, a positive impact of this deworming treatment has been seen across the country.

How National Deworming Day is Celebrated

National deworming day is celebrated all across the country by distributing deworming tablets to the children (from 1 to 19 years) at all the schools, pre-schools and anganwadis. In order to ensure that all the children are done with deworming, deworming tablets are distributed again on 15th February (5 days later of the event). Physical and mental health and safety of the children is of utmost importance, so deworming is an effective step taken by the government to save the future of the nation. Deworming tablets are very safe with mild side effects like nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Government staffs including teachers, anganwadi workers, ASHAs, and other officials get involved very actively in making this mission successful. They are given educational materials having knowledge about all the aspects of deworming program. They get trained already about what protocol they should follow and whom they report to in the unlikely condition like if a child falls ill.

Practices – promoted by government to reduce worm infections

Following practices, other than distributing deworming tablets, are promoted among people by the government to completely reduce the risk worm infections in children:

  • Never use open defecation, always use toilet for defecation.
  • Always wash hands properly using soap and water before eating the food and after using the toilet.
  • Always trim nails to keep them short and clean.
  • Always keep the surrounding areas neat and clean.
  • Always wear shoes or slipper specially while using toilet.
  • Always drink clean water and safe food.
  • Never keep food uncovered.
  • Never eat fruits and raw vegetables without washing them with clean water.

National Deworming Day slogan and theme of 2017

“Krimi se chhutkara, sehatmand bhavishya hamara” and “worm-free children healthy children”.