The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday appealed to parents to give their deworming tablets a chance and not be swayed by wrong information circulating on social media about its alleged ill effects to children.
"We appeal to the parents and guardians not to believe in wrong information circulated in social media and in the community," Health Sec. Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial said at a press briefing. "Let us verify our facts by consulting the nearest health facility regarding deworming."
Ubial: "Let us not deprive our children" of good heath; advises parents to inform themselves of true facts about deworming.— Rie Takumi (@rie_takumi) January 10, 2017
At the launch of the National Deworming Month, Ubial traced misgivings to the program to the incident in the Zamboanga Peninsula in 2015 where hundreds of students were hospitalized after a mass deworming program.
Ubial believes the "psychological suggestion" of the incident produced psychosomatic symptoms, or symptoms produced by stress from reading the post in children, leading to a mass incident attributed to expired deworming tablets.
Ubial: Incident of abdominal pain in 2015 was NOT related to deworming; this created a lot of panic and fear among children given deworming.— Rie Takumi (@rie_takumi) January 10, 2017
"When that incident was investigated in Zamboanga, there were some reports of abdominal pain, but it was not related to the intake of the deworming," she said. "But because of the news and spread of the news quickly on social media, it created a lot of panic and fear among all the children that was already given the deworming."
"They reported and therefore it also increased the number of side-effects in that particular area," she added. "We hope that this kind of event will not happen again."
World Health Organization country representative Dr. Gundo Weiler encouraged parents to "fully support this campaign, make sure that your children participate in the campaign, and take the medication that is provided" so they can "put more chances for healthy development."
The DOH aims to deworm 19 million public school students and 23 million pre-school and out of school youths this month. —KBK, GMA News