National Deworming Day is observed on 10th February annually in order to spread awareness about the importance of deworming for childrens. It is started by The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The objective of this day is to decrease the prevalence of parasitic intestinal worms known as Soil-Transmitted Helminths (STH), among all childrens and adults.
The National Deworming Day (NDD) was started in 2015.The campaign intends to quickly reach a huge number of kids. It also informs readers that around 241 million Indian children between the ages of one and fourteen are susceptible to parasitic intestinal worms.
As per World Health Organisation (WHO), about 24% population across the world is infected with soil-transmitted helminths worms.
Approximately 300 million children are dewormed twice a year in February and August.
What is Soil-transmitted Helminths?
Soil-transmitted helminths refer to the intestinal worms infecting humans that are transmitted through contaminated soil. Soil-transmitted helminths live in the intestine and their eggs are passed in the feces of infected persons. If an infected person defecates outside (near bushes, in a garden, or field) or if the feces of an infected person are used as fertilizer, eggs are deposited on soil. Ascaris and hookworm eggs become contagious as they mature in soil.
Types of Intestinal worms:
- Flatworms, which include tapeworms and flukes
- Roundworms, which cause Ascariasis, pinworm and hookworm infections
Causes of worm infection:
- Contaminated soil and unwashed plants grown in them.
- Lack of personal hygiene
- Uncooked and contaminated food
- Through fecal-oral and penetration-via-skin route
Symptoms of worm infection:
- The hemoglobin level may decrease
- Abdominal pain
- Unexplained weight loss
- Maintain good hygiene- properly wash hands mainly before eating and after using the toilets.
- Wash and peel the fruits
- Cook all the vegetables with purified water
- Avoid contact with soil that may be contaminated with human feces
- Avoid contaminated or junk food