DOH-7 to continue with deworming program amid ‘new normal’
CEBU CITY, July 20 (PIA) — The Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) is set to continue its deworming program in the face of the new normal in line with the observation of National Deworming Month in July.
This year, new strategies are being done in order to adapt to the new normal setting amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In previous years, the program has been implemented by DOH in partnership with local government units (LGUs) and the Department of Education (DepEd) for what used to be a school-based deworming campaign.
However, in view of the current health and safety protocols being implemented to prevent the spread of COVID-19, this year the LGUs will be in charge of the distribution of supplies and medicines to be used for the deworming campaign, said Dr. Van Phillip Baton, medical program coordinator of DOH-7, during a virtual press conference held recently in coordination with the Philippine Information Agency-7.
Baton said intestinal worms can lead to serious health issues among humans, such as anemia, malnutrition, and impaired physical and cognitive development.
He said the common cause of the transmission of these parasites is through contact with contaminated soil in some agricultural areas and poor sanitation and hygiene.
The deworming program targets preschool and school-aged children or those aged one to 19 years old.
DOH regularly conducts the deworming campaign to protect children from the adverse effects of intestinal worms.
As of 2018, the national prevalence rate is at 80 percent.
“Supposedly, we were to have a prevalence study for this year. However, because of COVID, we had to postpone it,” said Baton.
Baton said that the guidelines for this year’s implementation of the deworming campaign are still being finalized by the DOH central office.
“We are looking at it na musabay sa opening of classes with DepEd. By then, we will have a general picture of how many students are enrolled in schools. The LGUs will also have an idea on their target in terms of deworming outside their usual coverage of 1-4 years old,” he added. (poc/PIA7)