CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — The Department of Health Region III (DOH-3) has assured parents of the safety and effectivity of deworming tablets.
Michelle Bautista, DOH-3 medical technologist of the infectious disease cluster, said deworming tablets such as albendazole or mebendazole are proven safe.
She added that parents and guardians need not fear to have their children dewormed.
Bautista made the assurance amid the mass drug administration in schools and communities as part of the celebration of National Deworming Month.
DOH conducts the said activity every January and another round in July or every six months to reduce the spread of Soil Transmitted Helminthiasis (STH) or bulate and achieve its target dubbed “bulate-free”.
Bautista said Soil Transmitted Helminthiasis (STH) is a public health concern affecting "children, expectant mothers, food handlers, farmers, and indigenous groups."
"STH or worms living inside humans can cause slow growth, poor learning ability, lethargy, and pain, cause anemia, and in severe cases, death," she said.
This can be transmitted through ingestion or accidental consumption of worm eggs from contaminated food or hands, walking barefoot in an area with worm eggs, and poor body and environmental hygiene.
The World Health Organization said that about 12 percent or 1.5 billion people worldwide are affected by this problem.
In the Philippines, 66 percent of children aged 12 to 72 months, and 54 percent of students from Kinder to Grade 12 are affected by worms.
Last year, health authorities in Central Luzon managed to deworm 37 percent of the population, which includes children one to 19 years old.
STH can be prevented through washing hands, ensuring safe and clean food preparation, defecating in a clean comfort room, and keeping the environment clean.