19 October 2018

Malawi: Govt Say First-Phase Mass Drug Administration in Schools Fruitful

Lilongwe — Ministry of Health and Population has expressed satisfaction with the first- phase of Mass Drug Administration (MDA) against bilharzia and worm infections which started on October 8-12.

The MDA, which is being administered in various primary schools across the country, is in two phases.

Speaking with Malawi News Agency, Ministry of Health spokesperson, Joshua Malango said the MDA started on a high note in the targeted areas.

"We are above 70 per cent in the targeted areas and we are interested in the way pupils are showing their willingness in taking these drugs," said Malango.

He further advised parents to influence their children to eat food before taking drugs, saying the drugs are so powerful.

"Ntcheu, Nkhotakota and Nkhata-Bay will conduct the exercise this week, but Lilongwe will continue this exercise this week due to its vastness while in the Southern Region it started last week, except in Chikwawa," he added.

Coordinating Primary Education Advisor for Lilongwe Urban, Nelson Kachikuni concurred with the Ministry of Heath, saying the exercise is going on smoothly in the city regardless of few challenges.

"The progress of Mass Drug Administration is going on well, I have visited schools like Kaliyeka and Kamkodola, students are taking drugs and so far, no incident has been received," said Kachikuni.

However, he cited lack of punctuality among health personnel as the only problem many schools face because of transport problems.

"The challenge is on the part of the hospital personnel, they arrive at school so late, it is actually time when the learners are hungry. We wanted them to arrive at schools as early as possible because we told the pupils to eat," said Kachikuni.

He dismissed rumours and perceptions that drugs are being distributed because of some hidden agendas from the authorities such as reducing life expectancy, child-spacing and reducing population.

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