Hundreds of children were taken ill in northeastern Tripura and eastern West Bengal state in India following deworming programme held in government schools on Wednesday to mark National Deworming Day.
In Tripura, more than 250 children reported discomfort after consuming deworming tablets. Children complained of respiratory problems, nausea and dizziness.
“More than 250 students across different schools in Kadamtala block of Tripura were administered deworming tablets as part of National Deworming Day programme. However, many students complained of pain in abdomen and respiratory trouble after consuming the tablets,” Pradip Acharya, sub-divisional magistrate of Dharmanagar district, said.
The children were immediately rushed to the local hospital where they were treated and discharged later. Ruckus broke out in the hospital after anxious parents started pouring in with their sick children in large numbers.
"Subsequently students from nearby schools like South Fulbari School, Kadamtala Higher Secondary School and colony (other) schools (rushed to the hospital). Students from around six-seven schools rushed in the hospital. There is a total panic, there is a total chaos. Doctors are trying their best to treat the patients," said chief medical officer, north Tripura, Shankar Das.
The state had a target of administering de-worming medicine among 1.1 million students aged 1-19 years across all schools in the state, Reuters reported.
In West Bengal, several children in the North 24 Parganas district reportedly fainted after consuming the deworming tablets. The children were rushed to the nearby medical centre for treatment. Similar reports were recieved from other parts of West Bengal also.
As a part of the National Deworming Day, a flagship initiative of the ministry of health and family welfare, deworming programmes were conducted across India on Wednesday.
The nationwide initiative involves free distribution of Albendazole 400 mg chewable tablets among preschool and primary schools.