Arund 80 pc of children, teenagers in UP have worms

Lucknow : Around 80 per cent of children and teenagers in the 1-19 years age-group in Uttar Pradesh have worms in their stomach leading to anaemia. According to data from the health department claimed that worms in the stomach have been identified as the chief reason for iron deficiency anaemia. Officials here today said that health workers would be visiting schools and other places to distribute e deworming tablets to children in the 6-19 years age-group this month. ''Medically prescribed Albendazole tablet would be given to children,'' doctors engaged in the drive said.

Experts at the National Health Mission said that India had the highest number of soil-transmitted helminths - the most common infection worldwide. "Worm infestation is a major problem because it contributes to persistent iron deficiency, which in turn leads to poor brain development .It is also responsible for malnutrition, anemia, lack in overall development and recurrent abdominal pain," said another doctor. Worm infestations are also associated with stunting. Data from the Rapid Assessment Survey shows that in UP, over 50 per cent of children are stunted while another 28.4 per cent children are severely stunted. Repeated episodes of diarrhoea and intake of unsafe water also contribute to stunting, they added.

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