The launch of a massive school-based deworming programme, targeting 16 million children from 90,000 government schools and 70,000 community health centres was launched earlier last month in the West Indian state of Rajasthan.


On October 15 and October 18, Rajasthan becamepart ofthe fight to keep India’s children healthy; the goal was to give each child a deworming tablet which costs just pennies to administer.

Girl eating in school

Deworming treatment reduces the risk of parasitic worm infections which lead to anaemia and malnutrition, and which makes children both more susceptible to serious illness and more likely to miss or drop out of school.


The Rajasthan state has a high prevalence of anaemia as well as a significant percentage of children, especially among the poor, who are stunted and underweight due to malnutrition, therefore prioritizing deworming as a major need has been an essential step in improving child health.

Administered well, deworming programmes have been shown to be highly effective in improving children’s health as well as their educational outcomes. With a long term commitment to the programme, Rajasthan is likely to see improved child health, reduced child mortality, elevated educational levels and, in the longer term, improved lifetime earnings for the children who are successfully treated.

Deworming in Bihar and Delhi


The large scale deworming effort in Rajasthan, with the initial launch and mop on carried out on the twoseparate days builds on experiences and lessons learned from previous deworming campaigns carried out in the two Indian states of Bihar and Delhi. This school based deworming in Bihar, Delhi and Rajasthan are efforts of collaboration between theorganisation,Deworm the World and the Government of India.

Looking toward the future


Since repeated treatments are required to ensure that parasitic worms don’t return – twice a year in high prevalence areas and once in others – institutionalizing the programmes is a critical public health need. The deworming effort is a major milestone. It will almost certainly have an immediate effect on children’s health, but to fully capitalize on the opportunity, the state must take the steps to mature the programme and run it on its own.


Original article adapted from the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, by Urvashi Prasad.
Find out more on the Impact of Parasitic Worm Infection on Child Health on the Worms Page.
Read more on Why Deworm in Schools.
Access relevant documents on the Worm Document Downloads.