850,000 children to be dewormed in K-P

Our Correspondent June 13, 2024
Palestinian children queue as they wait to collect drinking water, amid shortages of drinking water, as the conflict between Israel and Hamas continues, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip January 4, 2024. PHOTO: REUTERS


Around 12 million children in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) have been provided deworming medication and the same is to be administered to another 850,000.

Under the chairmanship of Health Secretary Mahmood Aslam Wazir, a Steering Committee meeting of the Deworming Initiative was convened in the Health Secretariat’s committee room.

The meeting saw the participation of key officials from various government departments and organisations including Planning and Development, the Planning Cell, the Health Department, the Directorate General of Health Services, Elementary and Secondary Education, the Private Schools Regulatory Authority, Local Government, the Afghan Commissionerate, the Elementary and Secondary Education Foundation, Rescue 1122, IRD Pakistan, and AVI Dance Action.

The Health Secretary highlighted the government’s commitment to addressing the challenges and risks posed by intestinal worms among school-going children in the next three years. It was revealed during the meeting that approximately 12 million children in K-P had already been administered deworming medication, with an additional 850,000 children set to receive effective and safe deworming medication in October this year.

The meeting outlined the goal of protecting over 850,000 children aged five to 14 years from intestinal worms in 22 districts of the province.

The target includes children from both public and private schools. To achieve the goal, over 40,000 teachers and medical practitioners are mobilized annually.

Furthermore, it was announced that training for practitioners would commence in September, with the deworming campaign set to be launched the following month. The Health Secretary emphasized that the Deworming Initiative had become a part of the Annual Development Plan for the next three years, reflecting a positive and encouraging outlook.

The deworming program, which aims to combat worm infections in children, has proven to be highly successful. Reports indicate that, in 2022 alone, the program provided coverage to an impressive number of five million children across 22,797 schools in 22 districts of the province.

That remarkable achievement had built on the program’s earlier successes under which deworming treatment had been provided to 3.8 million children in 2021 and to 2.7 million children in 2019 across various districts and schools.

Participants of the meeting stressed the severity of worm infections in children, highlighting their detrimental effects on children’s health, education and overall productivity.


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