Minister for Health and Population Welfare, Sindh, Dr. Azra Fazal Pechuho held a meeting with Interactive Research and Development (IRD) representatives Mr. Qadeer Baig and others.
The meeting was held at EOC and Secretary Health, Mr. Zulfiqar Shah, DG Health, Dr. Juman Bahoto were in attendance. The meeting was informed that 11 million children had been dewormed through the efforts by IRD since 2019. KP had the highest incidents of children with deworming needs and the water and soil quality in the country as a whole was a cause for concern.
The Sindh Deworming Initiative has a three pronged approach to targeting children to administer them the medication for deworming.
This includes focusing on public, private and religious schools, out of school/missed children by going door to door and also making the rounds of health facilities to ensure that there is less chance of missed children.
Due to this diligence 2.6 million out of the target of 4 million children had been successfully dewormed in Karachi and only a total of 110 cases (0.004%) of side effects were recorded. Dr. Azra Pechuho stated that deworming is a measure of prevention in healthcare and must be prioritised in order to ensure the health of the province as a whole.
However there also needs to be awareness in regards to the hygiene of children. For instance their nails must be cut and cleaned where possible, their personal hygiene must be monitored closely as well.
The age groups should be increased from 2 years to 18 years of age so that more children can be targeted and treated for worms and samples taken from them to see if there are any unusual results from the deworming treatments.
It was also decided by the Minister for Health and Population Welfare that a robust campaign focusing on deworming must be taken up and should have no other campaigns distracting from it. Therefore the 3rd week of August was seen as the most feasible timeframe to launch the campaign around deworming children.