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The Department of Health (DOH) today discloses its progress on its coverage on National School Deworming and School-Based Immunization Campaign. Oplan Goodbye Bulate was launched last July 29, 2015. The National School Deworming campaign aims to deworm approximately 14 million school aged children enrolled in public elementary schools in one day. Also, Bakuna para sa Kabataan, Proteksiyon sa Kinabukasan, a free immunization program was initiated last August 3, 2015, and given to Grades 1 and 7 students in public schools nationwide.

As of today, 11,470,245 out of 14,740,075 or 80% of enrolled students were dewormed nationwide. Most of the regions in the country accomplished more than the recommended target by the World Health Organization (WHO) which is 75%.

Health Secretary Janette P. Loreto-Garin reiterated that soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH) can cause poor physical growth, poor intellectual development in children and can result to anemia and malnutrition not only in children but also among women of child bearing age. She emphasized that abdominal pain, vomiting, and dizziness are normal symptoms associated with deworming. Furthermore, all medicines given by DOH to the public were recommended by WHO and inspected by Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

On the other hand, the School-Based Immunization Program, which is on its third week, already vaccinated 199,426 out of 2,507,038 or 8% against Measles-Rubella (MR) to Grade 1 students and 191,792 out of 1,863,624 or 10% of enrolled Grade 7 students. In addition, 270,618 out of 2,507,038 or 11% of enrolled Grade 1 students and 191,735 out of 1,863,624 or 10% of enrolled Grade 7 students were vaccinated against Tetanus-Diphtheria (TD). The said campaign is continuously being implemented to Grades 1 and 7 students this August in public schools nationwide.

“The immunization will be given to students with parental/guardian consent. We highly encourage parents to let their children be vaccinated. These medicines will provide life-long immunity against tetanus and diphtheria and will help reduce sickness and death due to measles and rubella. The DOH uses vaccines approved by WHO which are safe, effective, and used worldwide.” Garin said.

Last August 14, 2015, DOH collaborated with DepEd and DILG to strengthen its community and school-based health programs during the National Health Summit. Among the priority commitments in the summit are the School-Based Health Stations and Dental Health Bus which aim to reach the underserved, especially those in remote areas.

“The success of Kalusugan Pangkalahatan relies heavily not only with DOH but more importantly on the support and actions of the attached government agencies, non-government organizations, developmental partners and the local government units. With the DOH as the lead, DepEd as the venue and DILG as the implementers, health programs will be available and accessible to all. “Mararamdaman, mararanasan, at makakarating sa lahat ang Kalusugan Pangkalahatan.” Garin concluded.

The National School based Deworming Day will be done yearly every July and January to reduce the prevalence of soil transmitted helminthiasis among school children while the School based Immunization will be done every August of the year.