Healthy children call marks National Deworming Day

IMPHAL, 8th Feb: Under the auspices of National Health Mission (NHM), Manipur, National Deworming Day was observed at state level with various programmes organised at Ibotonsana Higher Secondary School, Tera Tongbram Leikai Maning Anganwadi Centre and Halley School, Soibam Leikai on Friday.
Speaking at the inaugural function held at Ibotonsana school as one of the presidium members, NHM Manipur state mission director Dr S Manikanta explained that the day is observed to prevent worm infection in children and de-worming tablets will be administered two times in a year - February and August.
WHO in 2014 carried out a survey of children aged 1-14 in the country which found out that around 22 crore children were infected by worms. In view of this, the programme was taken up by the government to keep the nation’s children healthy. The medicine requires only one dose so it can be given without any time delay, he added.
Dr Manikanta opined that parents need to know the importance of giving deworming tablets. Children will suffer if they were not treated with the deworming tablets. The tablets have no side effect, although children who have high infestation of worms may suffer from stomach ache and minor ill health.
A team has already been constituted to counter any side effects, if there is any. There will be no shortage of tablets, any children who missed in this round will be covered during mop up round to be conducted on February 14, he informed.
Education (S) director Th Kirankumar, who was also present on the occasion, observed that officers and teachers of Education Department have a big role to play towards ensuring success of the programme and the department has been working with Health and Social Welfare Department to successfully implement the programme.
He pointed out that this year’s academic session has just started which means that very few students have started attending school. That’s why, this time the programme may cover less number of students. If the programme had been held during May or November it would have been more successful. But still, the department is working to ensure that the programme covers maximum number of students, he maintained.
Also speaking as one of the presidium members, Health and Family Welfare Services director Dr K Rajo remarked that the day is being observed in the state since 2015. A child suffering from worm infection will be thin, will have loose motion, dull, lack of concentration in studies and will have low IQ. They will require deworming for the betterment of their nutritional status and heath, he stressed.
Deworming tablets are given to all the children because the tablets if given to infected child will kill the worms while in normal children they will improve their immunity against the worms, the director explained, adding that to prevent worm infestation, children should be taught to properly wash their hands, leafy vegetables should be washed properly, they should not be allowed to defecate in open and should not walk bare feet.
The worms may enter the skin of the children from the soil and infect them. To prevent such infection, the parents should have proper information about it, he said, while adding that the programme aims to administer tablets to about 10 lakh children of the state in the age group of 1-19 years.
The programme was also attended by Child Health SNO Dr A Sylvia; Social Welfare ICDS state programme officer and administrator of Ella and Halley School.

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