Kagera leaders and teachers have been urged to take a holistic approach in eliminating preventable diseases that impede proper children’s growth. People should also get correct information on strategies taken by the government to control the diseases.
According to Kagera Regional Commissioner (RC), Major Gen (rtd) Salum Kijuu, neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), a di-verse group of communicable diseases that prevail in tropical and subtropical conditions in 149 countries, affect over one billion people and cost developing economies billions of dollars every year.
He made the remarks on Tuesday while addressing the Primary Health Committee (PHC), adding that the programme aims at improving the health and well-being of the pre-school and school children by reducing the soil transmitted helminths (STH) infections through mass deworming and other preventive measures.
According to Mr. Kijuu, the STH prevalence is high, adding that consumption of the tablet will not lead to any health haz-ard. About 600,373 pupils in primary schools were expected to be administered with deworming tablets.
The government will dis-tribute Albendazole anti-worm tablets for children aged between five and 15 years, cost free. The worms infect over one third of the world’s population, with the most intense infections in children and the poor.
In the poorest countries, children are likely to be infected from the time they stop breastfeeding and continually infected and re-infected for the rest of their lives. School-age children
typically have the highest intensity of worm infection of any age group. Additionally, the most cost-effective way to deliver de-worming pills regularly to children is through schools where there readily available, extensive and sustained infrastructure, with a skilled workforce that is in close contact with the community.
All the common worm infections in school-age children can be treated effectively with two single-dose pills: One for all the common intestinal worms (hookworms, roundworms and whipworms) and the other for schistosomiasis (bilharzia).