6.4 MILLION CHILDREN TREATED IN DEWORMING PROGRAMME – KENYA

7 Mar

When I was young that is a few years back we were taught of different types of worms and one that stuck in my head was Bilharzia. I was so scared and to think that this are the same keeping so many children out of school I feel ashamed for taking it for granted.

By Winnie Kamau

A report released in 2014 detailing on the Deworming programme carried out in the Counties has put so many things in perspective. We take Deworming for granted but for many Counties it is a serious issue that has led so many children in primary schools to discontinue schooling. Kakamega and Bungoma Counties leading with the highest number of children who have been treated in the School based- Deworming programme.

According to the National report shows over 5million school-aged children in Kenya are at risk of intestinal parasitic worms, including soil-transmitted helminthes aka Common Worms and schistosomes which cause Bilharzia. The worms live in the human intestines and bladder. The worm infection is a chronic condition and can cause anemia, malnutrition, impairing children’s mental and physical development. Children infected by the worms can become too sick or tired to concentrate at school leading to lack of attendance at all.

With this in mind the two ministries from the Government of Kenya: Ministry of Education and Health teamed up to start a school based deworming programme that has recorded a huge success not only in Kenya. The two ministries have formulated a model that many other countries in Africa are emulating. The Ministry of Health providing the drugs and the Ministry of Education with the schools, this combined forces has dewormed and treated pupils in 28 Counties in 2014 with a vision of surpassing this target in 2015.

The Joint Ministry effort between the Ministry of Education and Health has seen 6.4 million children treated in 15,000 schools in Kenya in the National School- Based Deworming Programme. The continuous programme expects to eradicate parasitic worms as a public health problem in Kenya.

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