DOH-1 deworming activity continues despite COVID-19
SAN FERNANDO CITY, July 20 (PIA) — As the country observes the National Deworming Month (NDM) this July, the Department of Health – Center for Health and Development Region 1 (DOH-CHD1) continues its deworming activity to eliminate parasitic intestinal worms in children despite the limitations brought about by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
DOH-CHD1, in coordination with local government units in the region, is distributing anti-helminthic drugs or deworming tablets to children aged one to 19 years old.
“Ang ating mga barangay health worker katulong ang ating rural health midwife ay nagbabahay-bahay at pumupunta sa bawat eligible population upang mabigay ng deworming tablets sa mga bata na may edad isa hanggang labing siyam na taong gulang,” said Medical Officer IV Rheuel Bobis of the DOH-CHD1.
He added, “Sa paraan na ito ay masisiguro po na hindi sila magkukumpulan at mapa-practice pa rin natin ang physical distancing ngayon ngang may COVID-19.”
Meanwhile, Bobis allayed fear of parents who are hesitant to whether or not they would let their children take deworming tablets fearing that it may cause various side effects.
He said there is nothing to be afraid of because the medicine they are administering are proven safe and effective and it has been used for many years now.
Children should be dewormed as it only brings good benefits to their child, he urged.
“Sa ating mga nanay at tatay, huwag po tayong matakot magpa-deworm ng ating anak. Mas matakot po tayo sa epekto kapag hindi po natin sila na deworm,” he said.
He added parasitic intestinal worms in children can cause detrimental effects if left untreated to include anemia, malnutrition, weakness, poor physical growth and impaired cognitive development resulting in poor school performance.
Deworming drugs should be taken in full stomach, and should not be given to children who are sick or have health conditions.
Bobis noted that children are the most vulnerable to intestinal worms because they almost spent their day outside doing outdoor activities.
To spot if their child has worms, the most common visible signs and symptoms are abdominal enlargement and pain, weight loss due to lack of nutrients in the body, weakness and loss of appetite.
To avoid worms in children, Bobis also encourages good hygiene measures such as hand washing, proper food preparation, and as much as possible, avoid eating raw meat.
He said, “Good hand washing is an effective way of preventing not just intestinal worms but also other illnesses.”
The deworming activities by DOH are conducted twice a year during the months of January and July, as these months were declared as National Deworming Month. (JCR/JND/JTQ, PIA-1)