The Department of Health (DOH) addresses fears and myths associated to deworming as it conducts a Harmonized Schedule and Combined Mass Drug Administration in public schools nationwide against soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH) and schistosomiasis.
The National School Deworming Day (NSDD) is one component of the Harmonized Schedule and Combined Mass Drug Administration initiative of the DOH to conduct a nationwide, simultaneous effort to deworm all 5-12 years old children enrolled in public elementary schools. School-aged children enrolled in private schools and children who are not enrolled may avail of the free deworming services at health centers, rural health units and barangay health stations.
The program aims to deworm approximately 15 million school-aged children enrolled in 38,659 public elementary schools in one day through the NSDD and at least 15 million pre-school and school-aged children not enrolled in public schools in a month.
“We would like to reiterate that the NSDD is not a new campaign for DOH. Last year, it was already administered to public schools and we will continue this campaign twice a year. We also ensure that all medicines distributed are certified by World Health Organization (WHO) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA). We appeal to the parents and guardians not to believe in wrong information circulated in social media and in the community. Let us verify our facts by consulting the nearest health facility regarding deworming.” Health Secretary Janette Loreto-Garin explained.
The administration of medicines is voluntary and will not be implemented without the consent filled up by the parent or guardian of the child in public elementary schools. Just like any other drug, taking deworming drugs may lead to minimal side effects like dizziness, nausea, headache and vomiting. These effects are transient, minor, self-limiting and disappear after some time and can easily be managed with remedies like resting in quiet rooms for a few hours and providing water mixed with sugar.
Last July 2015, the DOH launched its National School Deworming Day in public schools nationwide. Latest data showed that 11,824,013 out of 14,595,002 or 81% of enrolled students were dewormed. Most of the regions in this country accomplished more than the recommended target by WHO which is 75%.
“Let us not deprive our children of the protection among serious illnesses. Ask and verify facts on deworming from your nearest health facility. Makiisa sa National School Deworming Day at ating pahintulutang purgahin ng ating mga health workers ang inyong mga anak.” Garin concluded.