LEGAZPI CITY – The Albay Provincial Health Office (PHO) has urged parents with children and teenagers aged one to 19 years old, to allow their kids to undergo deworming.
In an interview on Tuesday, Anthony Ludovice, PHO Soil Transmitted Helminths (STH) Program coordinator, said they target to deworm a total of 473,000 persons for the first batch of their intensified deworming program starting this January as part of the country's observation of National Deworming Month.
"Aside from the procured deworming medicines of each local government unit, we already started to distribute to the 18 rural health units in the province the additional augmentation from the national government through the Department of Health (DOH)-Bicol. We received 1,716 boxes of anti-parasitic medicine of Albendazole equivalent to 171,600 tablets," Ludovice said.
He said they are expecting to finish the target number of children and teenagers by April this year.
"We conduct community-based and school-based approaches for the distribution of the medicines to cover the age group and ensure the safety of the children. For the community-based, our trained barangay health workers (BHW) go house-to-house to provide the necessary information about the importance of the medicines to a child's growth and development," he said.
Ludovice said they regularly conduct deworming to protect children from soil-transmitted helminths (STH), which can affect their growth and development.
STH refers to the intestinal worms infecting humans that are transmitted through contaminated soil.
"If a child is infected with STH it can cause anemia, malnutrition, weakness, impaired physical and cognitive development resulting to poor growth and school performance," Ludovice added.
Albay PHO asked for the support of the parents and guardians for the said activity.
"The help and support of every parent or family member has a great impact in achieving our target," Ludovice said. (PNA)