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Govt aims to cover 31 cr children in deworming drive

In a move aimed at tackling worm infections in children, the government is all set to start its second round of national deworming campaign from Thursday. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), which is spearheading the drive in 33 states & Union Territories, has set a target to cover 31 crore children.

The deworming initiative would be followed by mop-up activities on August 17. According to ministry officials, a total of 7.8 crore children are targeted in private schools and 3.5 crore out of schoolchildren would be covered under the initiative through Anganwadi and ASHAs workers.
"This is one of the largest public health programme reaching a large number of children during a short period. The first NDD round of 2017 implemented in February covered 26 crore children with a coverage of 89 per cent," the Health Ministry said in an official statement.
The deworming programme was launched in 2015 after WHO raised its concern about growing number of children under the risk of soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH) in India. The WHO estimated that 220 million children below 14 years of age are at risk of STH in the country.
The deworming day is organised twice in a year covering all the children from 1-19 years of age except the states of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh where deworming is carried out once in a year.
The STH prevalence in these two states is less than 20 per cent. Under the campaign, all the children are provided deworming tablet Albendazole in schools and at Anganwadi centres.

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