In the Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts of Karnataka, thousands of children between the ages of 1 and 19 are being provided with free medication as part of the National Deworming Day campaign.
The tablets being distributed are aimed at eliminating Soil Transmitted Helminths (STH), which are parasitic worms that can cause a range of health problems for children, including stomach aches, dysentery, lack of appetite, lethargy, anemia, and malnutrition.
In Udupi, 2,73,548 children will be given Albendazole tablets free of charge, according to District Deputy Commissioner Kurma Rao. The program is being implemented in government, aided, and private schools, as well as Anganwadi centers, residential schools, ITIs, nursing colleges, and first-year degree and engineering colleges.
Meanwhile, in Dakshina Kannada district, 5.42 lakh children will receive Albendazole tablets free of cost, says District RCH Officer Dr. Rajesh. The distribution is being conducted across various schools and other institutions.
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The National Deworming Day campaign aims to promote public health and raise awareness about the importance of maintaining personal hygiene and cleanliness to prevent the spread of STH. Parasitic worms are commonly found in soil and can be contracted by touching infected soil or consuming contaminated food or water.
To prevent the spread of STH, officials advise people to maintain good hygiene practices, such as washing their hands with soap before meals, keeping their nails trimmed and clean, and drinking only purified water. Fruits and vegetables should also be washed thoroughly before consumption.
The campaign is a crucial step in safeguarding the health of young children, whose physical and intellectual development can be stunted by STH infections.