DOH to conduct 'National School Deworming Day' in public elementary schools on July 29

July 28, 2015 5:50 am 

By Leilani S. Junio

MANILA, July 26 (PNA) — The Department of Health (DOH) will be conducting a “National School Deworming Day” (NSDD) on Wednesday, July 29, as part of the program dubbed as "Oplan Goodbye Bulate."

This DOH initiative will cover children who are studying from Kinder to Grade 6 in all elementary public schools nationwide to prevent the detrimental effects of soil-transmitted helminthiasis or STH.

These children aged 5 to 12 years will be administered with tablet called Albendazole or Mebendazole, the drug that prevents and treats helminth infection which is caused by nematodes from the soil contaminated with fecal matter.

Most of these species that infect people, especially children, are the roundworm (Ascaris lumbricoides), the whipworm (Trichuris trichiura) and the hookworms (Necator americanus and Ancylostoma duodenale).

Children can get them as their bare hands touch the soil while playing or holding something that dropped on the soil and other scenarios.

According to DOH Secretary Janette L. Garin, there is a need to deworm school children because soil-transmitted helminthiasis can cause poor physical growth, poor intellectual development, and impaired cognitive functions in children.

“They can also cause anemia not only in children but also in women of child-bearing age,” Dr. Garin said.

She explained that deworming of children is a good strategy to reduce the burden of STH infections because such will create a positive impact on children’s education and health wherein the children will become more active in their studies and school performance.

The World Health Organization (WHO) had previously cited the detrimental effects of STH on the educational performance and school attendance of children.

The WHO noted significant improvements in language and memory developments after treatment through deworming.

During the one-day deworming activity, the Albendazole/Mebendazole drug will be administered by a teacher supervised by a healthworker from DOH, Department of Education (DepEd), Local government Units (LGUs), or volunteer groups with prior approval from the DOH regional office.

The drugs are known to have excellent safety records with only minimal and transient adverse reactions.

In addition, the drugs are inexpensive and effective, making regular deworming of Filipino children both affordable and sustainable. (PNA)

SCS/LSJ

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