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DOH IX to deworm students


The Department of Health IX (DOH) is all set for the month-long mass deworming activities in July for all public school students aged one to 18.

The deworming program will not only be implemented in Zamboanga Peninsula, but the entire Philippines to combat schistosomiasis and other parasitic diseases.

Dr. Sitti Nurrusamsi Amilasan, DOH IX Infectious Disease Cluster Head said, the DOH aims to reduce the number of infections brought about by schistosomiasis, lymphatic filariasis, and soil transmitted helminthiasis (STH), or diseases caused by infection from parasitic worms transmitted by contact with soil.

Dr. Amilasan further added that STH affects the child’s learning capacity, leading to bad performance in school, as well as problems in the child’s physical development.

In an interview, she reiterated that the pills to be used in the deworming activities are safe, and stomach ache is a natural side effect of taking the medicine in an empty stomach.

She advised the parents to make sure that their kids have breakfast before taking the tablets.

The national deworming initiative started two years ago with Administrative Order (AO) 2015-0030 dated June 26, stating that students in all public elementary schools will undergo deworming in one day through the National School Deworming initiative. The program initially included only children aged 5 to 12.

However, this year, the initiative has expanded to include children from one to four years old, all the way to teenagers aged 13 to 18 years old, as well as out of school youth. The campaign was also expanded to barangays in order to reach more children, especially those in poverty-stricken areas, said Amilasan.(Kikay Dongallo)

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