Govt rolls out bilharzia mass campaign

By Praise Ujani

The Ministry of Health and Population has rolled out its drug administration campaign against bilharzia and intestinal worms as one way of preventing children from diseases.

In a statement signed by the secretary for Health and Population, Bestone Chisamile during the mass campaign which runs from 12 to 15 November, children with ages range from 5 to 14 are expected to receive praziquantel and albendazole in all public and private primary and secondary schools as well as in communities.

In 2017, government through the Ministry of Health and Population embarked on massive national campaign which was designed to eliminate bilharzia by 2020 following observations that the disease was rapidly spreading due to knowledge gap.

The statement, further states that parents and guardians should ensure that children have eaten starchy foods like porridge, nsima and potatoes before taking these medications since the drug is strong with side effects including dizziness, stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting.

The ministry is also urging communities to ensure that there is use of latrine always for both urinating and defecating.

Bilharzia is an infection caused by parasitic flat-worms in the urinary tract and it is spread through contaminated water.

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