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National Deworming Day: Odisha Targets 1.3 Cr Children To Administer Medicine On August 8

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06 August 2019

Snigdha Chandan Das

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Bhubaneswar: With an aim to reach more than one crore children for better health and improved nutrition status, Odisha Health and Family Welfare (H&FW) Department has geared up to administer deworming dose on August 8 as part of the ‘National Deworming Day’.

‘National Deworming Day’ is one of the largest public health campaign that aims to deworm all children between the ages of 1-19 years through Government, Government-aided, private schools and Angawadi centres.

Talking to media on the sidelines of the occasion today, Odisha Health Services Director Dilip Sadangi said, “The upcoming August 8 is being observed as the National Deworming Day. In addition, Mass Drug Administration campaign for Lymphatic Filariasis is also being done. Our target is to administer the drug to every child within the age groups of 1 year to 19 years on a single day (August 8). It has been estimated that there are 1 crore and 30 lakhs children.”

He stated, “For the Mass Drug Administration campaign for Lymphatic Filariasis, we have enlisted five districts. 90 lakh people will be administered the medicine dose. Besides, children in the age groups of 9 months to 5 years old (approximately 43 lakh children) will be administered Vitamin A.”

He further stated, “In this context, our State Education Department, ICDS Department and Health Department will collaborate for this campaign. Children with the age groups of 1 year to 5 years will be administered the medicine dose at the Anganwadi centres. Other children will be administered at their respective private and government schools. The children who are not going to schools, they will be administered at Anganwadi centres.”

“It will be on a single day, i.e. August 8. The left-out children will be administered on August 16. This is being done for the last three years. The medicine is administered in an interval of six months. It is generally done in the months of February and August,” Health Director informed.  

Keeping in view such a massive campaign, an exclusive Media Roundtable discussion on ‘National Deworming Day’ was organized today by the Department of Health and Family Welfare in collaboration with UNICEF Odisha here in the capital city.

Under the August round of the National Deworming Day bi-annual campaign, the Odisha Government aims to reach approximately 1.3 crore children from 1 to 19 years across all 30 districts, in convergence with major government departments: Health &FW, WCD& MS, S&ME, Panchayati Raj& DW and ST. & SC Development, Minorities and Backward Classes Welfare Department.

The experts of today’s occasion were Dr Saroj Kumar Nayak, Director, Health &Family Welfare, Government of Odisha, Dr Purnima Udgata, Jt. Director Nutrition, Dr Ajit Mohanty, Director, Public Health and Dr Barish Kumar Das, Director, SIHFW.

As per a press note released on the occasion, regular deworming prevents children from intestinal parasitic worms that can lead to anaemia, malnutrition, impaired mental, physical and cognitive development and reduces school participation.

Addressing the media, Director, Family Welfare said, “Given the importance of deworming of children, any child who is not dewormed on National Deworming Day (August 8, 2019) due to sickness or absenteeism will be administered the tablet on August 16, 2019 (Mop Up Day).”

“In addition, the State Government will implement the bi-annual Vitamin Supplementation campaign in August 2019. Under this programme all children from 9 months to 5 years will be administered age specific Vitamin A dose at the Routine Immunization session site,” he added.

The Director Public Health said, “In five districts (Balasore, Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Khorda and Nuapada) where there is a prevalence of Lymphatic Filariasis, we are combining the NDD round with Lymphatic Filariasis - Mass Drug Administration campaign (LF-MDA) through door to door visits. This will cover the eligible population two years old and above.”

State Institute of Health & Family Welfare (SIHFW) Director emphasized the importance of mass awareness about the campaign.

“To generate public awareness information and communication materials for NDD have been specially developed in Odia with support from UNICEF. This includes materials like radio jingles, wall paintings, TV spots, posters and social media infographics. Further, to mobilize children in private schools, a special package of information material has been developed,” he informed.

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Dr Dillip Sadangi, Director, Health Services, Odisha