DAGUPAN CITY – Oplan Goodbye Bulate of the Department of Health (DOH) will kick-off here on July 29 in a program slated at the West Central Elementary School in line with the observance of the National School Deworming Day in the country on that day.
Health Secretary Janette P. Loreto-Garin was invited to lead the ceremony along with Mayor Belen T. Fernandez, Director Teresita M. Velasco of the Department of Education Region I, Director Julie J. Daquioag of the Department of Interior and Local Government and Dr. Myrna C. Cabotaje, director, DOH Region I.
The objective of the nationwide campaign is to deworm approximately 16 million school aged children enrolled in 38,659 public elementary schools in one day specifically to increase and scale-up the mass drug administration coverage for school-aged children (5-12 years old or kindergarten to Grade VI), to facilitate and ensure timely reporting of deworming intervention and to promote partnership in all levels in the implementation of deworming for school-aged children enrolled in public elementary schools.
In her Administrative Order No. 2015-0030, Secretary Garin revealed that the country is, unfortunately, one of the countries that harbor the Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), a group of parasitic, bacterial and viral infections and one of the most prevalent neglected tropical diseases is soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH).
The highest intensity of infection has been documented among children aged 1 to 12 years old. Pre-school aged children (1-4 years old) suffer the greatest morbidity, while school aged children (5-12 years old) harbor the greatest load of infection.
Garin said intestinal parasitic infections may lead to cognitive impairment and malnutrition, among other complications of children.
Among the activities to be done by children are hand washing, feeding, tooth brushing drills and mass deworming.
“This will be done in all 34 schools in our city simultaneously and we will post 34 barangay nurses to assist in the administration of deworming,” said Mayor Fernandez, elaborating on the project.
Only students with parental consents will be dewormed. (Joseph C. Bacani/CIO)