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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

DOH-9 steps up drive vs. filariasis, schistosomiasis

By Franklin P. Gumapon

PAGADIAN CITY – To eliminate the so-called neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in Zamboanga Peninsula, a team from the Department of Health (DOH)-9 has conducted a media forum on filariasis, schistosomiasis, capillariasis including intestinal worms at the Guillermo Hotel here recently.

In her message, Dr. Agnes Fernando, DOH-Zamboanga del Sur chief, emphasized the important role played by the press in giving the communities correct information on these tropical diseases that are treatable.

Fernando disclosed that there are cases of filariasis recorded in Zamboanga del Sur particularly in the municipalities of Bayog, Kumalarang and Guipos.

Filariasis, which is a parasitic diseases caused by an infection with roundworm of the Filarioidea type, is spread by blood feeding black flies and mosquitoes. It results in the thickening of the skin and underlying tissues.

She also reported that schistosomiasis in Zamboanga del Sur has not yet been fully eliminated. “The prevalence of schistosomiasis in the province is high,” she said.

Schistosomiasis is caused by a parasitic blood fluke that infects mammals including humans through skin penetration when in contact with fresh water contminated with larval forms (cercariae) known as schistosomes.

Moreover, the different types of intestinal worms/parasites were also discussed in the same forum with emphasis on the deworming program pursued by the government for school age children.

Intestinal parasites may cause anemia, stunted growth and even death among children if not treated by giving an anthelmintic drug to humans.