About AP-NDI
More than 2-M kids targeted for deworming in west Visayas

ILOILO CITY -- The Department of Health – Center for Health Development 6 (DOH-CHD 6) hoped to recover from the low deworming coverage last year as it eyes to reach out to 2.1 million of the one to 18-year-old age group for this year’s Integrated Helminth Control Program (IHCP), in observance of the National Deworming Month this January.


John Den Billones, CHD 6 program coordinator, in a press conference Monday afternoon said the target would be the said age group, whether or not they are enrolled in schools, both in public and private schools.


While those enrolled in public schools are assured of coverage, they continue to appeal to the participation of private schools.


We are encouraging private school children. Our public school is consistently high. Our gap now and challenge is to include these children who are also at risk, which are out of school youth and private schooled children,” he said.


The deworming drugs are given to children, either by their teachers or school health nurse. For out-of-school they are being reached out though health workers.


They should be given the Albendazole drug in full stomach. Also those who are sick are not given the drugs. Malnourished children have to be checked before administering the drug.


Some side effects, which are rarely felt, can appear within eight hours after the deworming. These include dizziness, nausea, headache and vomiting.


We always advocate that the deworming program is safe, free and should be taken twice a year every six months to avoid re-infection and decrease morbidity,” he emphasized.


Dr. Elvie Villalobos, head of the CHD 6 infectious disease cluster, emphasized that there is a high prevalence rate in terms of soil-transmitted helminth infections, particularly ascariasis, trichuriasis (whipworm) and hookworm infection.


Western Visayas has 26 percent prevalence rate; the highest is in Iloilo province, which is more than 50 percent.


The deworming coverage during the January 2017 implementation was only 40 percent, a big drop from the July 2016 of 70 percent. It rose to 67 percent in July last year.


Most of those who were covered are enrolled in public school but the accomplishment was pulled down by a low turnout in community-based, out-of-school and those enrolled in private schools.


This year, they hoped to reach the 85 percent target of the more or less 2.5 million one to 18-year-old population.


The one-month deworming program kicked off January 10 in Western Visayas but there is an allowance of two weeks to reach out to those situated in far-flung areas.