Over 80 lakh students in Karnataka will be administered deworming tablets on August 10, which is observed as National Deworming Day.
Students from anganwadis and state government schools will be given Albendazole 400 mg that will prevent occurrence of soil transmitted helminth (STH) that is one of the most common infections, across the world, reported The Hindu.
Dr Pradhudev Gowda, nodal officer, Rashtriya Bala Swasthya Karyakram, health department, said they will include private school students in this exercise from next year, reported The Times of India.
“This time, we couldn't train the staff in private schools within short notice. However, we have informed the authorities in all districts to share the medicine with private schools if they want to”, he said.
WHO recommends periodic treatment with anthelminthic (deworming) medicines, without previous individual diagnosis, to all at-risk people living in endemic areas. It recommends treatment twice a year when the prevalence of the infection is more than 50 percent.
“The directorate of primary education could conduct inspection in private schools and ensure they follow a checklist of children being immunized. Such checks must be done especially after winter and summer vacations when children travel to other cities and get exposed to food and water there. Parents must also be educated on the need to use the medicine once in six months,“ explained Dr SM Prasad, paediatrician and chairperson of adolescent health academy, Bengaluru.
Doctors say that this programme is important for the children as a large number of them are affected by STH in the state.
“Out of 100 children, no less than 47 are affected. Deworming is necessary twice a year. If not done, it can lead to lack of nutrition and anaemia,” Prabhudev said.