‘Deworming of 17 million children is necessary to fight against malnutrition’, says First Lady Samina Arif Alvi

Samina Alvi said that deworming was really beneficial and could impact the academic of children in a positive way as well.

While speaking at the launch of an awareness campaign, Samina Arif Alvi said that deworming of 17 million children in Pakistan was necessary to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as hit the government’s health target of eliminating malnutrition and anemia.

The first lady was speaking at the inauguration of the second Annual Mass Deworming at the Islamabad Model College for Girls, F-7/4, with 23rd January 2020 labeled as the ‘Deworming Day’.

The deworming program, in a partnership with the Ministry of Planning Development and Special Initiatives, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education will treat 547,000 children, from the age group 5 years to 14 years, to defeat the intestinal infection.

Samina Alvi said that deworming was really beneficial and could impact the academic of children in a positive way as well.

She said that the discovery of a national survey to assess intestinal worm infection was alarming, it was revealed that about 17 million children, including 574,000 in Islamabad, were in need of regular deworming.

The woman was content with the Islamabad Deworming Initiative, as it had treated 200,320 children in its first phase of mass deworming in 2019, and a target of 574,000 has been set for the second phase.

Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood said that deworming could ensure improved cognitive and physical growth and resistance to infection.

The Ministry of Education, in a collaboration with Sight Saver, an NGO (non-governmental organization) had finalized another project to check the eyesight of school children, provide the children free glasses, and treatment at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) if needed.

Parliamentary Secretary for Planning, Kanwal Shauzab stated that this initiative was in accordance with the Prime Minister’s vision of addressing and eradicating the health challenges of children, which also include stunted growth and malnutrition.

She motivated parents to send their children aged 5 to 14 years to their nearest government or private schools on 23rd January 2020, during school timings for safe and free deworming medicine.

Dr. Nausheen Hamid, Parliamentary Secretary for National Health Services, termed malnutrition as a big challenge with the highest mortality rate in the country.

As per WHO (World Health Organization), Pakistan was a ‘high-burden’ country for its population infected with intestinal worms, also called ‘soil-transmitted helminths’. WHO has also provided deworming drugs for the initiative.

What are your views on this? Share with us in the comments bar below.

  • They keep it to only Islamabad and do not ask the provincial governments to come up with a plan to treat the poor children in far of areas.

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