South African Broadcasting Corporation: The Departments of Basic Education, Health and Social Development have today officially launched the national school de-worming programme [for STHs with Mebendazole] at the Zimasa Primary school in Langa.
The programme forms part of the integrated school health programme and will focus on health, education and the regular de-worming of children. The programme will be rolled out nationally to all Grade R to 7 learners in quintile one to three primary schools.
The Department of Basic Education has partnered with the World Health Organisation and has secured seven million de-worming tablets that will be distributed to the children. Basic Education minister Angie Motshekga, says the schools chosen are all part of the departments pro-poor programme.
Motshekga was joined by various stake-holders on a walkabout to the nurses’ rooms where the de-worming tablets and other vaccines will be administered.
Five hard facts:
- Soil transmitted helminths (STHs) in South Africa constitute the worms A. lumbrocoides, T. trichiura, and hookworm. They cause tiredness and stomach problems. Further, these worms and have been found to contribute to cycle of poverty.
- Repeated treatment is necessary to curb the reinfections
- The school deworming programme will not treat Bilharzia which is the second most important parasite after Malaria in terms of public health impact in the world.
- Quintile 1-3 (of five in total) are the poorest schools in South Africa. These schools also have a school feeding programme.
- Mebendazole is the only the second best choice treatment for these STHs. For T. trichiura Albendazole should be given.
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