Deworming in Islamabad schools to help overcome malnutrition among children: Tanveer

Zubair Qureshi

Federal Minister for Education & Professional Training Rana Tanveer Hussain has termed it a collective effort of the public and private sector to join hands for the healthy and secure future of the youth. He was addressing the launching ceremony of ‘School-based Deworming Programme’ for the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT). The 3-year programme that was launched in 2019 and was to be closed down in 2022 but later was extended for one more year.

Under the deworming drive, 481,823 school-going children between 5 and 14 years of age will be administered deworming tablets during the current year. The minister said the campaign to deworm children will not only help achieve sustainable development goals but overcome malnutrition and anaemia among children.

The school-based deworming programme was conceptualized by the Institute of Development & Economic Alternative, Interactive Research & Development, Pakistan, Indus Health Network and Evidence Action in the light of a survey conducted in schools.

The target is to overcome intestinal infections of the school children. The minister termed ‘alarming’ the findings of a national survey to assess intestinal worm infections, revealing that approximately 17 million school-age children in the country, including around 574,000 in Islamabad, were in need of regular deworming.

He expressed satisfaction that the Islamabad Deworming Initiative successfully treated children in its first, second and third rounds of mass deworming from 2019 to 2022. The deworming campaign is successfully underway with the coordination of the Ministry of the National Health Services Regulation & Coordination and the World Health Organization (WHO), it was told during a briefing on the occasion.