ARMM deworms thousands of school children
COTABATO CITY - The Department of Health in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao ( DOHARMM) successfuly deworming thousands of children across the region to fight the health and nutritional impact of worm infection.
As of January 28, the DOH- ARMM has already administered deworming medicines to a total of 303,523 children aged 5 to 12 years, which make up 52.64% of the total number of children enrolled in public elementary schools in the region.
Soraida D. Amilil, regional coordinator of the Integrated Helminth Control Program, said the infection from intestinal worms or soil- transmitted helminthiasis ( STH) has an adverse effect on the development of the mind and the children’s school attendance. It is also related with nutritional deficien- cies specifically iron and vitamin A.
The de- deworming is part of the country’s simultaneous National School- based De- worming Day ( NSDD). It is a school- based deworming activity jointly conducted in partnership with the region’s Department of Education ( DepEdARMM).
This year’s NSDD started in January 27 and will end on Wednesday. The DOH- ARMM will release a final and complete report of the activity on February 9.
Amilil said they administer 400mg of Albendazole to the children for the mass treatment of intestinal infections.
She said the Albendazole is candy- flavored chewable drug which was included in the World Health Organization’s list of essen- tial medicines for the treatment of intestinal helminthiasis.
Amilil said the drug may cause possible side effects or “contra- indications such as allergy, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and erratic migration of worms are being observed and monitored.”
However, she said that “as of today, no adverse effects or reactions of the given medicine were reported.”
Amilil said drugs which include antihistamine, antispasmodic, and oral rehydration solution plus Zinc were provided to the local health centers in cases of adverse events following the de- worming. In cases of erratic worm migration, she advised parents to pull out the worms and do proper ways of disposal which include flushing and incineration.