Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 10:
Over hundred kids in six districts of Odisha have fallen sick after being administered deworming tablets in schools on the occasion of National Deworming Day today.
Cases of students falling ill after being administered deworming Albendazole tablets in schools have been reported from the districts of Khurda, Angul, Subarnapur, Balasore, Nabarangpur and Cuttack till reports last came in.
Over 40 students of Brahmanabila Upper Primary School of Angul district have fallen ill after consuming deworming tablets provided in the school.
Similarly, at least 40 students of Bandhahuda school in Narasinghpur of Cuttack district and 15 students of Budhapada and Khudupur UP schools of Khurda district developed sickness after being administered deworming tablets.
Seven students of Chepapalli Upper Primary School in Sonepur block of Subarnapur district, ten students of Khairabani School in Nilgiri subdivision of Balasore district and two students of a school in Nabarangpur district also developed sickness after consuming deworming tablets.
Invariably, students complained of stomach pain and giddiness, while some of them vomited on taking the tablets.
However, deputy director of Health department Biswaranjan Padhi has allayed fears and said that there is no reason to worry since these are side effects of the medicine and would be normal within two-three hours.
“There is nothing to worry. These are minimal side effects of the medicine. Those with worm infestation will have comparatively more such feeling than those without. The child will feel normal after two-three hours. We are monitoring the situation and are fully alert to intervene if required,” said Padhi.
“The side effects of the deworming tablet can be seen in persons who are suffering from any kind illness. There is no need to panic,” Health secretary Aarti Ahuja told reporters.
The World Health Organization estimates that 220 million children between the ages of 1 and 14 are at risk of parasitic worm infection in India.
Government of India aims to deworm around 27 crore pre-school and school-age children this year.
The National Deworming Day will be followed by a mop-up day on February 15 to administer the deworming tablet to children who were absent from the school or anganwadi today.