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Deworming not suspended: DOH

Community and school-based deworming activities in Davao Region will not be suspended according to a Department of Health (DOH) Region 11 official amid the incident in Surigao del Norte which allegedly resulted to death of one student and hospitalization of seven others.

Mary Divene Hilario, DOH 11 national deworming program coordinator, told TIMES on Thursday that they cannot stop their activities while there’s still no final result of the autopsy that’s being conducted. Also, there is no mandate from the central office for possible stoppage.

In a recent statement regarding the incident, Health Undersecretary Rolando Enrique Domingo said they already suspended the conduct of deworming activities in Surigao del Norte and clarified that there were no similar incidents in other provinces. Toxicological tests were also conducted for the batch of medicines used in the school.

Deworming is conducted twice a year in the presence of a health personnel and with parent’s consent. Hilario emphasized that it is very important for parents to ensure that children’s stomach are filled before undergoing deworming medication to prevent any possible side effects.

“There’s no expected side effects but of course, regardless of any medication we provide for the children and our target population we need to observe them, it is part of the protocol,” Hilario said.

The DOH 11 is targeting to achieve 85% deworming coverage among one to 18 years old. For the community, the first round of medication is at January followed with a reinforcement in July while a reversed schedule is conducted for the schools.

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