School students in 6 dists fall ill after taking deworming tablet

Bhubaneswar: Students of different schools in Khurda, Angul, Subarnapur, Balasore, Nabarangpur and Cuttack districts of Odisha fell ill after taking deworming tablets on the occasion of National Deworming Day on Wednesday.

More than 40 students of Brahmanabila Upper Primary School of Angul district were taken ill after consuming Albendazole tablet. Similarly, more than 30 students of Bandhahuda school in Narasinghpur of Cuttack district and 15 students of Budhapada and Khududpur schools of Khurda district fell ill who were administered the deworming tablet.

Seven students of Chepapalli Upper Primary School in Sonepur block of Subarnapur district were also taken ill. While some of them complained of stomach ache, some vomited. They were admitted to the local hospital.

Ten students of Khairabani school in Nilagiri of Balasore district and two students of a school in Nabarangpur district were also taken ill after taking the tablet.

Commenting on the incident, Biswa Bhusan Padhi, Deputy Director of Health said, “The deworming tablet has minimal side effects, which lasts for 2-3 hours. The side effect could be a little more in case of those with worm diseases. Some students might have complained of feeling unwell after seeing their friends complaining of stomach ache. For this, the students should be told not to panic and kept at relatively cooler place. If possible, sufficient drinking water should be provided to them.”

Meanwhile, Health Secretary Arati Ahuja said, “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.”

Notably, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) is implementing the National Deworming Day in schools and preschools (anganwadis) across the country today with the goal to deworm preschool and school-age children between the age of 1-19 years at schools and anganwadi centres in order to improve their overall health, nutritional status, cognitive development and quality of life.