National Deworming Day is observed on February 10, to make people aware of the importance of deworming, particularly for children from 1 to 19 years of age, who are the most vulnerable. The Day was launched by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in 2015. The main aim of the Day is to raise awareness on intestinal worms and to attain complete eradication of Soil-Transmitted Helminths in children. Around 24% of the world’s population is infected with soil-transmitted helminths (worms).
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Significance of the day:
- Parasitic worms are a menace to society, both for people and animals. It is impossible to prevent worm infestation since children come in contact with soil while playing outside. Worm infestations can reduce the quality of life in children, stunt their physical growth and mental development.
- This may lead to poor productivity in schools, affect their attendance and hamper their education and future. Hence, timely and proper deworming of children is a necessity. Intestinal worms are found in the gastrointestinal tract and they damage the body.
- Regularly washing hands with soap and hot water before and after using the toilet can prevent intestinal worms.