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A health worker assists teachers in administering the deworming drug to children at Tapikan Elementary School in San Joaquin, Iloilo during the National School Deworming Day (NSDD) on January 27, 2016.

THE Department of Health (DOH) simultaneously conducted nationwide the Round 2 of its National School Deworming campaign on January 27, 2016 in all public elementary schools targeting children aged 5-12 years old. The first round of the campaign was conducted last July 29, 2015.

The National School Deworming Day (NSDD) on January 27 was a simultaneous activity that targets to deworm 15 million children enrolled in all public elementary schools nationwide. In Region VI, more than 1.1 million school-aged children were target of the campaign.

The Department of Health (DOH) maintains that deworming children in schools is one good strategy to reduce the burden of soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH) infections. STH can cause poor physical growth, poor intellectual development and impaired cognitive functions in children.

For pre-school children aged one to four years old, deworming is done during the nationwide Garantisadong Pambata campaign during the months of April and October.

The DOH also reiterates that the deworming drugs given during the NSDD are safe and certified by the World Health Organization (WHO). Adverse reactions may be observed but these are minimal and transient. Temporary minor reactions following treatment occur mainly in infected people as a result of the body’s response to the dying worms.

The National School Deworming campaign was implemented by the DOH in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd).