National News-Daily Digest: 2 Key Updates
1. Government launches National Deworming initiative
The National Deworming Day is a single fixed-day approach to treating intestinal worm infections in all children aged 1- 19 years and is held on 10 February and 10 August each year. Having conducted five rounds of National Deworming Day since February 2015, the mass deworming program aims to reach all children at schools and anganwadis with the deworming treatment. Any child not dewormed on National Deworming Day due to absenteeism or sickness, will be dewormed on mop-up day, 15 February. The Ministry had first launched National Deworming Day (NDD) in 2015 which was implemented in 11 States/UTs across all Government and Government-aided schools and Anganwadi centres targeting children aged 1 to 19 years. Since then the program has been scaled up throughout the country.
The National Deworming Day will mobilize health personnel, state governments and other stakeholders to prioritize investment in control of Soil Transmitted Helminth (STH) infections—one of the most common infections. It aims to create mass awareness about the most effective and low-cost STH treatment-administering Albendazole tablets. The tablet has no side effects and in case the dose gets missed, MoHFW carries out ‘mop-up’ sessions, to ensure no child is left out. Along with Albendazole administration, behaviour change practices in terms of cleanliness, hygiene, use of toilets, wearing shoes/chappals, washing hands etc. is also important to reduce incidents of re-infection.
To prepare for National Deworming Day, teachers and anganwadi workers have been trained to administer the tablet to children, while ASHAs and other functionaries will generate awareness and mobilize children to be dewormed on the day. Other ministries and departments from Panchayati Raj, Youth affairs are also deploying their resources of panchayat members, youth volunteers and other community-based groups to engage communities towards a worm free India.
2. India and Palestine ink six agreements in different areas
India and Palestine signed six agreements in different areas, including in health and education.
The MoUs include setting up of an India-Palestine Super-specialty hospital at Beit Sahour in Bethelhem Governorate, construction of India-Palestine Centre for Empowering women and setting up of a new National Printing Press at Ramallah.