ZAMBOANGA CITY -- The Department of Health (DOH) revealed that the Dengvaxia scare has affected the outcome of the agency’s program on National School Deworming Month that ended Wednesday.

Dr. Joshua Brillantes, DOH assistant regional director, disclosed that 60 percent of the parents of the public school children population to be dewormed did not grant consent due to Dengvaxia scare.

A number of children from the Luzon area were reported to have died due to the bad side effects of Dengvaxia vaccine.

Brillantes said this 60 percent translates to more or less 400,000 public school children were not dewormed in the entire region.

The target goal of the DOH was to deworm 848,928 school children, but only 389,089 children were dewormed by the agency in the entire region.

“These 60 percent will be considered as a missed opportunity for the children because we want to realize the target of 85 percent accomplishment to have a universal coverage,” Brillantes said.

Each of the school children is given 400 milligrams Albendazole chewable tablet on full stomach and under the close supervision of the school nurses and health workers.

Brillantes expressed apprehension that the children who were not dewormed might become carriers of parasites, which affected the mental and nutritional development.

He said they would try to convince the parents to allow the deworming of their children.

The objective of the deworming program is to decrease soil transmitted helminthiasis, which causes weakness, decrease appetite, decreased IQ and anemia among school children. (PNA)