Death of child in Puerto Princesa City not related to deworming —DOH Director Janairo

August 5, 2015 5:08 am 

MANILA, Aug. 4 — The Department of Health (DOH)-MIMAROPA region said on Tuesday the death of a pupil in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan last week was not associated with the deworming activity conducted under the DOH's National School Deworming Day (NSDD) on July 29.

According to MIMAROPA Regional Director Dr. Eduardo C. Janairo, the teacher of the child, who was present at the latter's wake, had attested that the child’s death should not be suspected as a result of the deworming activity.

The teacher said that based on their records, the child was not on the list of those who were administered with deworming tablet last July 29.

Director Janairo said that based on the same records, the child had been dewormed as early as July 2 in Sta. Monica Elementary School, Puerto Princesa City, because the deworming activity in the region was done on scheduled basis.

Based also on school attendance, the child was recorded absent for several days during the last week of July or during the time that the NSDD was launched on a national scale.

Dr. Janairo noted that in that scenario alone, it can be established that the deworming tablet (albendazole) has nothing to do with the child’s death.

He said that the parents were asked to let the remains of the child to be autopsied to clarify the real cause of death but the parents refused.

The regional director said that based on the information gathered, the child suffered constant abdominal pain in the right lower quadrant.

He added that there were records that the parents of the child had resorted to self-medication as “remedy” instead of early consultation with the hospital to avert any further complications on the child condition.

Based on the records of the private clinic where the child was taken, castor oil and healthy powder drink were administered to the child by his parents/relatives to relieve his abdominal pain.

The child later complained that he had bowel movement difficulty or could not defecate, and instead began to vomit greenish liquid and fainted, thus alarming the parents who were advised to transfer him to a bigger hospital that can provide the best remedy.

However, it was too late because the child was declared dead before arrival at the Ospital ng Palawan.

“Based on the reported conditions suffered by the child, like complaint on abdominal pain in the lower quadrant, difficulty on defecating, and with the greenish liquid that came out during vomiting, a rupture on the appendicitis of the child probably occurred,” Dr. Janairo said based on his medical point of view.

MIMAROPA consists of the island provinces of Mindoro (Occidental and Oriental), Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan.

NSDD was conducted nationwide on July 29 to help school children fight the parasitic worms or soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH) through the administration of the deworming chewable tablet (albendazole) in orange flavor.

DOH-MIMAROPA is one of the DOH regional offices that followed the standard protocol for the safe administration of deworming tablets.

Dr. Janairo said they also ensured that parents were notified on what to do before and after the administration of the tablets and asked parental consents prior to the deworming activity.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the deworming of children has been recommended to help them get rid off the parasitic worms because such parasites contribute to slow physical and mental growth of children, loss of appetite, anemia and poor performance in school.

The deworming activity is part of the government's investment on the health of children so that they will grow healthy and strong and capable of contributing to the country's economic development. (PNA)

SCS/LSJ

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