Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial urged the public to support National School
Deworming Month, stressing that about 40 million children need the treatment to ensure good health.
Deworming can help improve the body’s absorption of nutrients, improve resistance to infections, and improve mental capacities, the health chief explained.
Symptoms of worm infestation include pale skin and drowsiness, and children with heavy infestations perform poorly in school, said Ubial.
The DOH announced on January 10 that it was changing the annual program from a one-day event to a month-long campaign against intestinal worms.
The DOH aims to deworm about 40 million children, including 19 million school-aged children and 23 million pre-school and out of school children.
Parents may obtain the chewable tablet for deworming in health centers, rural health units, and barangay health stations, the DOH explained.
One tablet costs two pesos and is ingested once every six months.
This tablet may cause minimal side effects like dizzinesa, nausea, headache and vomiting.
All are encouraged to deworm in January and to deworm again in July to lower the chances of reinfestation.
“Let us not deprvie our children of the protection among serious illnesses,” said Ubial.
Children are the target group because of their poor hygiene.
Contrary to common belief, a child does not obtain intestinal worms from another child but from ingesting a worm’s ovum, usually from contaminated water.
Also, an ovum matures in its host and does not multiply inside.
Heavy infestations occur when a child repetitively ingests an ovum.
“We appeal to the parents and guardians not to believe in wrong information circulated in social media and in the community,” said Ubial.