Paraguay: Mass deworming for schoolchildren to restart this year

By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The National Campaign for Mass Deworming for Schoolchildren (CNDME), with the slogan “Jaitýke Sevo´i”, has been implemented since 2013 and covers educational institutions from the public, private subsidized and private sectors of the country. In 2020, the declaration of the pandemic and health emergency due to COVID-19 led to the suspension of face-to-face classes and, therefore, to the suspension of the VIII campaign. 

Image/Robert Herriman

This year, with the approval of the “Protocol and Guide for the Safe Return to Educational Institutions 2021” and the return to classes in different modalities, a series of inter and intra-institutional meetings was started for the organization, planning and implementation of the campaign, the which will be officially launched in the month of August, at the central level and by most of the country’s health regions, adjusted to current protocols in the face of the pandemic. It is expected to cover all class modalities implemented by the epidemiological situation, through specific strategies. 

It is worth mentioning that some health regions have already begun the process of delivering Albendazole tablets to the Departmental Coordinations of the MEC, for the subsequent distribution to educational institutions, respecting current health protocols. This responds to the scattered population that some regions present and also to the climatic situation that, depending on the situation, could make distribution difficult, taking into account previous experiences. 

This deworming action, accompanied by a strong component of hand hygiene, promotion of healthy habits and prevention of diseases transmitted by parasites, aims to reduce the prevalence rate of intestinal parasites, within the framework of compliance with Law No. 5210/14 of School Feeding and Sanitary Control, in a joint action between the Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare, through the Directorate of Comprehensive Health for Children and Adolescents, and the Ministry of Education and Sciences, with the cooperation of the Pan American Organization Health / World Health Organization. 

Benefits for the school-age population

Reduction of infestation by geo helminths or intestinal parasites (those parasites whose life cycles have a forced passage through the earth are called geo helminths). 

Improves attention and school performance, cognitive development and ability to concentrate.

Health promotion by influencing other determinants of health, such as access to drinking water, environmental sanitation, a healthy environment, a family environment and a change towards healthy habits.

Decrease in morbidity rates due to malnutrition and anemia in the child population.

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