Tuesday, 23 April 2024, 05:04:26 pm

School-based Deworming Program launched in ICT
August 31, 2021

School-based Deworming Program in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) is conducting 3rd Annual Mass Deworming Campaign for school-aged children for a safe and healthy future.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Capital Development Authority (CDA) Affairs, Mr. Ali Nawaz Awan, launched the mass deworming campaign at Islamabad Model School (IMS I-VIII), F-7/1 Islamabad.

It will continue till 4th of September.

The school-based deworming program is targeting 574,000 school-age children within approximately 2000 government and private schools, as well as Deeni Madaris, in Islamabad Capital Territory.

All children enrolled in classes 1-10 and out-of-school children aged 5 – 14, are being encouraged to access treatment at a nearby private and public school or deeni madrassa on deworming day.

The chief guest of the launch event, Ali Nawaz Awan remarked that Deworming is essential for a child’s physical and cognitive growth, and ensures resistance to other infections and improved school performance. It will significantly contribute towards the Government of Pakistan’s top health priorities which are reducing malnutrition and anemia.

Parliamentary Secretary for National Health Services Dr. Nausheen Hamid, Parliamentary Secretary for Federal Education & Professional Training Ms. Wajiha Qamar and Senator Fawzia Arshad also graced the event as guests of honor.

In addition, WHO representative in Pakistan, Dr. Palitha Mahipala was also present to show his support for an important health concern in Pakistan. 

They urged parents and guardians to send their children aged 5 – 14 to their nearest government or private school or Deeni Madaris, for a free and safe deworming medicine, during the deworming week.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that over 1.5 billion people, or nearly 1 in 4 of the world’s population, are infected globally with intestinal worms, also known as soil-transmitted helminths, with over 835 million children in need of treatment. These infections result from poor sanitation and hygiene conditions and tend to have the highest prevalence in school-age children.

A national survey to assess intestinal worm infection in school-age children in 2016 found that approximately 17 million school-age children across Pakistan, including approximately 574,000 children in ICT, are in need of annual deworming.

Accordingly, around 200,000 school-age children have been successfully dewormed in the previous two rounds of annual mass deworming in Islamabad in 2019 and 2020. 

The school-based deworming program in ICT is coordinated and led by the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training and implemented in partnership with the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, ICT Administration and Capital Development Authority.

The Deworming is implemented at school-level by the teachers trained by the Federal Directorate of Education, Private Education Institution Regulatory Authority, Basic Education Community Schools, National Human Development Commission, Deeni Madaris Heads. At the same time District Health Office in Islamabad is playing key role in leveraging their Lady Health Workers to deworm hard-to-reach children such as those who are out of school.