Govt schools undertake deworming exercise

The Delhi government is going to undertake a first-ever massive deworming programme among children in government schools. The children will be given tablets to clear out worms from the body.

The programme has been launched under Chacha Nehru Sehat Yojna of the Directorate of Health Services.

DHS on Thursday started training of the monitoring group. The state-level trainers will impart training to district and zonal officers.

DHS will distribute tablets for de-worming free of cost in government schools on February 21. A follow up exercise will also be conducted after four days to cover absent children. This includes Delhi Government schools, schools of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, anganwadi children above two years of age and drop-out girls from schools.

Worm prevalence

To assess the burden of disease among children of Delhi, a worm prevalence study was carried out in 3,251 children from 40 Delhi government schools, 40 MCD schools and 48 slums across Delhi. In the study, the average prevalence of soil-transmitted helminths (parasitic worms) was found to be 16.09 per cent. The maximum, 83.6%, was found in a particular slum. Results of the study also show that average prevalence was significantly higher in MCD schools (18.86 per cent) and slums (18.79 per cent) compared to Delhi government schools (9.91 per cent).

The study showed that soil-transmitted helminths are the most common infestations in pre-school and school-age children from poor communities. This causes anaemia, malnutrition retarded physical and mental development, reduced educational attainment and achievement and reduced productivity as adults.

It stated that regular deworming is the most effective way of immediately reducing worm burden and relieving children of the disease. Multiple studies show that deworming has significant, positive impacts on children’s health, nutritional status, growth, cognitive function, educational achievement as well as adult earnings.

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