Sindh to start deworming campaign by end of Jan

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STAFF REPORT

ISLAMABAD

After the successful national deworming drive in Islamabad, a massive de-worming drive against the intestinal worm infection in children would be undertaken by the Sindh Health Department from end of January in all parts of the province.

The campaign will be conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with Health and Education Departments of Sindh, the head of WHO Sindh Dr Sara Salman said while talking to private news channel on Sunday. She explained that the WHO will donate these tablets for the programme’s school-based de-worming part on request and the tablet will remove the growth of hook worm, whip worm and round worm in the body.

She said that consumption of the tablet would not lead to any health hazard to child. The drive is part of the national de-worming campaign which would be organized in all provinces of the country, she added. Dr Sara Salman revealed that 17 million children were infected by worms, according to a nationwide survey in 2016. This survey was the first of its kind and highlighted 40 districts where infection was most prevalent in children. “It’s important to de-worm people once a year. In some places the prevalence is 20 to 50 percent which means they need to be dewormed twice in the year.” She explained, the Karachi campaign will target children in schools, madrassas and out-of-school children.

Along with this there was a need to create awareness about improving personal hygiene and sanitation, Dr Sara said, without which the parasitic worms would not be eliminated from the soil. The soil-based helminthiasis is transmitted by worms known as hookworms, roundworms and whip worms. All types are present in Pakistan which is one of the 10 countries with the highest disease burden in the world. She highlighted the symptoms of disease, It causes stomach pain, diarrhoea, weakness and can even lead to iron-defi ciency anaemia.