As we are are getting ready to support the Indian government with National Deworming Day in 2016, we are proud to announce that we have recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the Indian state of Telangana.
Evidence Action’s Deworm the World Initiative is now the technical assistance partner for the anganwadi (preschool) and school-based deworming program in the state.
Why is this so exciting? This latest agreement not only shows the state government’s commitment to provide deworming treatment to all preschool and school-age children in the state, but it is also a result of our advocacy with state governments to strengthen their deworming program to decrease worm burdens in their state.
Telangana, the 29th state of India, was carved out from Andhra Pradesh in June 2014. As the newest and 12th largest state in India, Telangana is home to approximately 13 million children between the ages of 1 to 19 - children who will now have access to deworming treatment. This will positively impact their health, education, and productivity.
February 10, 2015 was the first National Deworming Day in India, when over 89 million preschool and school-aged children were dewormed with our support. This led to many states recognising the importance of mass school-based deworming as a safe, cost-effective, and scalable health intervention.
Since then, we have had an incredible year, with agreements signed with the states of Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, and renewed with the states of Bihar and Rajasthan. Our India program now extends technical assistance to seven states: Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, and – the latest – Telangana.
We now plan to assess worm prevalence and intensity in Telangana through a prevalence survey. The survey will help us obtain the needed data to advise the state on a targeted treatment strategy, and to determine parasitological impact once deworming is in place.
With National Deworming Day 2016 just around the corner, we are humbled and energized by the vote of confidence of so many states and the national government. We are excited to play our role in providing access to deworming treatment to millions of children in the coming year. Here is to Deworming India!