National De-worming Initiative

Date: February 10, 2015

Albendazole National Deworming Day National De-worming Initiative WHO Intestinal parasitic worms

National Deworming Day

On the eve of the National Deworming Day  is celebrated on 10th February and on this occasion Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare Shri J P Nadda launched the National De-worming initiative.

After getting the ‘Polio-free’ status, India now wants to target intestinal parasitic worms among the children to achieve status of being ‘Worm-free’. This  initiative is one of the largest programmes in the world  to de worm children. Under the scheme all pre-school and school-age children (enrolled and non-enrolled) between the ages of 1-19 years are targeted to de worm.

 According to WHO estimates, nearly 24 crore children in the age group of 1-14 years are at risk of intestinal parasitic worm infestation.

 During the first phase about 14 crore children will be covered. It will cove eleven States/UT, these are Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Tripura.

While rest 10 crore will be targeted in the second phase.

Albendazole tablets will be given to all children; half tablet to 1-2 years children and one full tablet for 2-19 years.

This initiative needs to be coupled with improved sanitation, hygiene, and availability of safe drinking water for reducing worm load. This needs active partnership and participation of the other ministries such as Women and Child Development, Human Resources Development, Panchayati Raj and Water and Sanitation. The de-worming initiative would help us to achieve the aim of ‘Swachh Bharat’ as envisioned by the Prime Minister.

About Intestinal parasitic worms:

They are large multicellular organisms, which when mature can generally be seen with the naked eye. Intestinal parasites are parasites that can infect the gastro-intestinal tract of humans and other animals. They can live throughout the body, but most prefer the intestinal wall. Means of exposure include: ingestion of undercooked meat, drinking infected water, and skin absorption. The two main types of intestinal parasites are those helminths and protozoa that reside in the intestines (not all helminths and protozoa are intestinal parasites). An intestinal parasite can damage or sicken its host via an infection which is called helminthiasis in the case of helminthes.

As per WHO, India is endemic for soil transmitted Helminths infestation. There are three types of Soil-transmitted helminths that infect people:

1-Round worm 

2-Whip worm 





Suggested question for mains- 


India is facing severe problem of worm infection among children. In this regard discuss  NATIONAL DEWORMING INITAITVE OF MINISTRY OF HEALTH AND FAMILY WELFARE? Also suggest measures for achiving a worm free India? [250 WORDS] [GS PAPER 2 / 3 – Health issue /Policy issue]


Suggested question for prelims-


1- Consider the following regarding National Deworming initiative:

a-  The National Deworming Day  is celebrated on 10th February

b-  It is an initiative launched by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.

c-  It is aimed at protecting more than 24 crore children in the ages of 1-5 years from intestinal worms.

d- Albendazole tablets are administered for this purpose

Which of the above statements are correct?

a) Only a and b

b) Only a,b and c

c) Only a,b and d

d) None of the above.