February 22, 2024

LAGAWE, Ifugao – The Provincial Health Office (PHO) wants that every child in the province dewormed to promote better health in the school and the community.
“We are aiming for a 100 percent accomplishment with the help of other healthcare providers like school nurses, personnel of rural health units (RHU) and barangay health stations and health workers,” Yvone Indunan of the PHO said.
In 2019, the PHO recorded a 98 percent accomplishment rate on deworming.
To reinforce prevention and control of soil-transmitted helminths and eliminate intestinal parasitism in children, the Department of Health initiated the National Deworming Month (NDM).
The NDM is held every January and July where the DOH, in partnership with schools and local government units distribute anti-helminthic drugs to students.
The NDM has two components – the National School Deworming Month (NSDM) and Community-Based Deworming Month (CBDM).
NSDM involves the massive and simultaneous school-based effort to deworm children ages 5-18 years old while CBDM is the deworming of children ages 1-4 years old and school-aged children not enrolled in public schools.
Deworming of schoolchildren in private schools under the jurisdiction of a concerned local government unit is administered by RHUs.
Indunan said there is also selective deworming to cater to the needs of pregnant women, adolescent females and special groups like food handlers and operators, farmers, soldiers and indigenous peoples.
She said mass deworming of children promotes health and development because worm infection can affect their physical growth and learning abilities and can cause complications if not treated.
Soil-transmitted helminthes (STH) or intestinal parasitism are transmitted to humans through contaminated soil, unclean hands or utensils, food exposed to houseflies, unclean drinking water and not using of sanitary toilets.
Signs and symptoms of worm infection include abdominal enlargement and pain, weight loss, anemia, malnutrition, loss of appetite and slow physical development.
In order not to be inflicted with STH, Indunan advised the public to use sanitary toilets, wash hands before eating and after using the toilet, wear footwear, observe hygienic food preparation, regularly trim fingernails to avoid dirt getting into the nailbed, and do deworming every six months. – Marcelo B. Lihgawon