States Meet to Discuss Preparation Towards National Deworming Day August 2018
| 27 Jun 2018

Representatives from approximately 25 states participated in a program planning and review meeting for the upcoming National Deworming Day round in August 2018.
The meeting was called by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India and organised by the technical assistance partner Evidence Action. In attendance werestate nodal officers for the National Deworming Day, as well as representatives from WHO India andthe Ministry of Women and Child Development;Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme.
The meeting was chaired by Smt. Vandana Gurnani, (IAS), Joint Secretary (RCH), Ministry of Health and Family Welfarein presence of with Dr.SK Sikdar, Deputy Commissioner – Family Planning, Child Health and Adolescent Health and Dr.Sila Deb, Deputy Commissioner – Child Health.
Addressing the group, Smt. Gurnani congratulated the participating states for successfully reaching 26.6 crore children across the country in the February 2018 round making National Deworming Day the largest fixed-day anganwadi and school-based deworming program in the world.
“National Deworming Day has grown from strength to strength since its inception in 2015. This has only been made possible by the dedicated efforts of all stakeholders at the state and district-level. It is crucial that we now give focused attention to reaching children who are not a part of our school and anganwadi systems. This out-of-school population is the most marginalized and vulnerable population of our country. Only when we are able to ensure that every child has been dewormed in every state consistently only then can we pat our backs for a rolling out a truly successful program. I would strongly recommend that all states look for new strategies and use new technology to ensure that this program reaches all children. Additionally, all states should also leverage community mobilization opportunities for the aspirational districts identified by Niti Aayog, under the extended purview of the Gram Swaraj Abhiyan to increase coverage”, Smt. Gurnani said.
Echoing the Joint Secretary’s observations, Dr.SK Skidar shared that “The National Health Mission has a commitment of reaching 90% of all children aged 1-19 with deworming treatment as part of the National Deworming Day. All states need to carry out planning towards the program with this program goal in mind.”
The group had focused discussions on key program components including deworming procurement of drugs and supply chain issues; training; community mobilization; and inclusion of private schools and out-of-school children to achieve optimal program coverage.
The National Deworming Day is the flagship program of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India to combat the public health risk of intestinal worms in children aged 1-19. The program is conducted on a fixed day in all schools and anganwadis across the country on 10 February with a biannual round on 10 August in select states based on worm prevalence data.
Preschool and school-based deworming programs are globally recognized as a “development best buy”. Deworming with the safe and beneficial Albendazole tablet is an effective solution to controlling worm infections. India has the highest burden of worm infections in the world, with the WHO estimating in 2014 that over 22 crore Indian children aged 1-14 years are at risk. Intestinal worm infections can act as a deterrent to children’s growth and development, and can adversely impact performance in school, and livelihood potential later in life.