The Deworm the World Initiative of Evidence Action is thrilled to support the world's largest school-based deworming effort to date in India. The government of India is working on a national deworming program that will target 140 million children. 

The National Deworming Day was launched today by Shri Jagat Prasad Nadda, the Union Health Minister, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of the Government of India. 

India's commitment to a comprehensive national response to the public health threat of worms comes on the heels of the Ethiopian government's launch of a national program. It will make a significant and very important contribution to the global fight against soil-transmitted diseases and other parasitic worms.

Evidence Action provides technical assistance to governments around the world to rapidly scale up national school-based deworming programs. The organization is a principal technical assistance provider to the governments of Kenya and Ethiopia for their national deworming programs, and works with state governments in Delhi, Bihar, Rajasthan, and more recently Madhya Pradesh, on deworming 30 million children annually in India alone.  

India has the highest burden of soil-transmitted helminths in the world, with 241 million children at risk of parasitic worm infections. Soil-transmitted helminths interfere with nutrient uptake in children; can lead to anemia, malnourishment and impaired mental and physical development. Rigorous research has shown that they also pose a serious threat to children’s education, and productivity later in life. 


For Immediate Release

India Begins World’s Largest National Deworming Program With Assistance from Evidence Action

National Program to treat largest at-risk child population in the world for parasitic worms.

Delhi, India - February 9, 2015 - India is launching a groundbreaking national deworming program to treat all children at risk for parasitic worms across the country. The Deworm the World Initiative, a coalition of organizations led by the non-governmental organization Evidence Action, is providing technical assistance to this national program.

The launch of the national deworming program will take place in eleven states on February 10, 2015 which has been declared National Deworming Day. National Deworming Day will treat an initial 140 million children at risk for parasitic worms in schools and pre-schools. India’s Department of Health and Family Welfare provides support to the state-level Departments of Health, Education, and Women and Child Development.

“Evidence Action is thrilled to work with our local partners, including the Indian government and state governments, to rapidly scale the largest school-based deworming program in the world. This will benefit the health and well being of hundreds of millions of children. Eliminating the public health threat of worms globally is entirely possible, and the Indian government’s ambitious yet attainable plan is making a huge contribution toward this goal,” says Alix Peterson Zwane, Evidence Action’s Executive Director.

The first National Deworming Day in India on February 10 is the largest single-day deworming effort in the world. The participating states in this first phase of the national program are: Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and Tripura.

Evidence Action provides technical assistance to governments around the world to rapidly scale up national school-based deworming programs. The organization is a principal technical assistance provider to the governments of Kenya and Ethiopia for their national deworming programs, and works with state governments in Delhi, Bihar, Rajasthan, and more recently Madhya Pradesh, on deworming 30 million children annually in India alone.  

India has the highest burden of soil-transmitted helminths in the world, with 241 million children at risk of parasitic worm infections. “Soil-transmitted helminths interfere with nutrient uptake in children; can lead to anemia, malnourishment and impaired mental and physical development,” notes Dr. David Addiss of Children Without Worms.  “Rigorous research has shown that they also pose a serious threat to children’s education, and productivity later in life,” says Iqbal Dhaliwal, Deputy Director of the Abdul Latif Jamil Poverty Action Lab at MIT University.

India’s ambitious national school-based deworming program is funded by the Government of India and State Departments of Health, Education, and Women and Child Development. Additional support for Evidence Action’s technical assistance for deworming in India has been provided by the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), Dubai Cares, the United States Agency for International Development, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, the END Fund, the Douglas B. Marshall Jr. Family Foundation, and by individual donors to Evidence Action.   

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Contact:  Katrin Verclas, Communications Director, Evidence Action, Email: katrin.verclas@evidenceaction.org  +1 202 780 5688  or +9 717 856310




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