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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Parents still wary on mass deworming, DOH assures pills are “very safe”
By Dominic I. Sanchez

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Jan. 28 (PIA) – There are still parents here who are hesitant to have their children dewormed during the Department of Health’s (DOH) nationwide simultaneous schools deworming day yesterday, but health officials are urging them to avail themselves of the free “safe and effective” drugs.

“We have already informed the parents well [on the deworming], but still many parents did not give the consent for their children to be dewormed,” Mr. Ronald Aba-a, principal of Tetuan Central School said during the deworming session yesterday.

Aba-a revealed that for out of some 4,000 pupils from kinder to grade 6, only 1,009 pupils were given consent by their parents to be dewormed.

Days prior to the mass deworming, school officials had been informing parents on its benefits and reminded them to have their children eat their breakfast before taking the drug to avoid any side effects like stomachache, dizziness, etc.
According to Parents Teachers Association (PTA) president Mannix Dalipe, the most probable reason for the non-consent was the “psychological effect” borne out of an incident in Zamboanga del Norte during the last mass deworming in July last year. False news had spread that the DOH had administered expired Albendazole drugs. However, despite the efforts to promote deworming, many parents still refused.

The DOH has teamed up with the Department of Education (DepEd) and came up with a mass feeding of arroz caldo prior to the deworming.

“We are hoping that more parents would have their children dewormed,” said Aba-a.

Meanwhile, Dr. Agnes Mabalo, division chief of the DOH here expressed optimism that the 85 percent target of schoolchildren woud be achieved at the end of the day. “Last year, we accomplished 81 percent, hopefully now, we will have better numbers,” she said.

Dr. Mabalo stressed that the “medicine is safe, not expired and just arrived from the central office.” She explained that there are normal side effects especially to those who already have parasitic infections. Like last year in Zamboanga del Norte, a mass of pupils vomited and complained of stomachache, which, according to health officials, were due to the presence of worms.

“There is no need to worry, especially if your children have already eaten,” she said.

She explained that the presence of worms inside the children would cause poor nutrition and poor performance in schools. Deworming would ensure that the children are purged of worms.

DOH officials yesterday together with DepEd were closely monitoring the deworming activities all over the region.

Dr. Mabalo advised the parents of children who are not yet dewormed to avail of the free chewable Albendazole tablets at the health centers.