CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The Department of Health (DOH) in Central Luzon is calling on parents and guardians to bring children to health centers and school-based facilities for deworming.
DOH is currently observing National Deworming Month this January and has launched "Oplan Goodbye Worm."
Under "Oplan Goodbye Worm," the DOH will conduct simultaneous treatment (mass drug administration) against worms and schistosomiasis for children one to 12 years old.
The World Health Organization said schistosomiasis is an acute and chronic parasitic disease caused by blood flukes (trematode worms) of the genus Schistosoma.
People become infected when larval forms of the parasite – released by freshwater snails – penetrate the skin during contact with infested water.
Transmission occurs when people suffering from schistosomiasis contaminate freshwater sources with faeces or urine containing parasite eggs, which hatch in water.
Symptoms of schistosomiasis include abdominal pain, diarrhea, and blood in the stool for intestinal schistosomiasis, while haematuria or blood in urine is a sign of urogenital schistosomiasis.
The DOH recommends purging children and avail of deworming services in community health centers and school-based facilities.
"With regular purification, the body becomes stronger, absorption of nutrients faster, and the immunity against diseases is stronger, so it is important to purify twice a year," the agency said.