ISLAMABAD: Government is planning to launch a school based deworming programme for children aged five to 15, Federal Health Secretary Naveed Kamran Baloch said on Monday. Like other vaccinations, children will be administered deworming drugs in schools to clean their guts.
Chairing a meeting held to discuss the findings of the first nationwide Soil Transmitted Helminths (STH) survey, Baloch stressed the need to launch a school-based deworming programme in areas identified as ‘at-risk’ for STH with a goal of eliminating worms as a public health problem.
He highlighted the efforts of public and private sector partners in undertaking the first national prevalence survey to generate evidence for the policy makers to develop a strategy to deal with this public health problem. The meeting discussed the STH survey which indicates that around 17 million children of school-age (5-15 years old) are infected with STH in targeted areas of Pakistan posing serious threat to children’s health, education, and productivity.
The Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination had organised the meeting titled "Soil Transmitted Helminths in Pakistan: Dissemination of Findings from National Prevalence Survey & Consultation on Opportunities for School Based Deworming" with the support of WHO, Indus Health Network, Interactive Research & Development, Evidence Action.
Senior government officials from education, health and planning and development participated along with the donors and other multi-national development sector partners such as World Bank, European Union, UNFPA, DFID, UNICEF and relevant national and international development organisations.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 16th, 2018.