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New Delhi: In one of the country’s largest single-day public health initiatives, an estimated 34 crore children will be administered de-worming tablets on Feb 10 to reduce worm infestation that can stifle physical and intellectual growth.

On National Deworming Day, the Health Ministry for the first time will also cover private schools and has asked state governments to rope them in, while it has set up 210 monitoring centres across the country to tackle adverse reactions of the tablet like stomach ache and vomiting.

India has the highest burden of worm infections in the world, with the World Health Organization estimating in 2014 that over 22 crore Indian children aged between 1 and 14 years are at risk.

“31 states and UTs will implement this programme in February 2017. The rest will do it in subsequent months. Three rounds (of deworming) we have already had. In one round in 2015 and two rounds in 2016, we have dewormed 40 crore children. This year alone, we are trying to reach that figure.

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