National School Deworming Day, a month-long deworming activity, done every January and July in the Philippines by the Department of Health is performed to decrease soil transmitted helminthiasis cases which causes weakness, decreased appetite, decreased  IQ and  anemia.


In Zamboanga, or Region IX, health officials reported a total of 512,130 or 81.28% of school children in the region were treated in January, according to Ms. Maria Raiza C. Anino of DOH-9.

Of this number, 133,133 were from Zamboanga del Sur; Pagadian City-26,647;  Zamboanga Sibugay-100,410; Zamboanga City-69,058; Isabela City-15,268; Zamboanga del Norte-140,201; Dapitan City-12,286 and Dipolog City -18,127.

However, one undisclosed religious group in Zamboanga City refused their children to receive the free Albendazole deworming drug, and prefers to leave their children’s health in “God’s hands.”

“Yes, there is a religious group in Zamboanga City which does not let their children take the drug,” confirmed Dr. Rolando Bucoy, Medical Officer IV of the Department of Health (DOH), without naming the particular group, which apparently has hundreds of followers here.

It can be recalled that many parents in the city as well as in other areas in region 9 were hesitant to let their children take the state-prescribed albendazole after false information spread regarding the integrity of the drug. To correct the misinformation, the DOH embarked on an intense information dissemination campaign, especially in the rural areas.