Lilongwe — Ministry of Health and Population (MoH) says it is committed to adopting various measures including mass drug administration (MDA) campaigns, to eradicate Bilharzia and intestinal worms-related diseases in the country.
Communications Officer in the ministry, Adrian Chikumbe made the remarks on Friday in Mponela, Dowa during a daylong media briefing on the forthcoming MDA campaign against Bilharzia and intestinal worms scheduled for November 12 to 15, 2019 in all the country's districts.
Chikumbe said the ministry strives to eradicate Bilharzia and intestinal worms-related diseases in the country, hence the decision to conduct mass drug administration exercise in the country.
"As as a ministry and partners, we are committed to eliminate Bilharzia and diseases related to intestinal worms in Malawi, that is why we will conduct another mass drug administration campaign which we launched in 2012.
"Currently, we have reduced the percentages of Bilharzia and diseases of intestinal worms from as high as 63 per cent to 18 per cent and in some districts, the cases have gone down as low as three per cent," Chikumbe said.
The Communications Officer appealed to parents and guardians to encourage their children aged between five and 14 to receive the drugs which the Ministry of Health, through its health workers, will be dispensing in schools and communities the MDA exercise.
However, Chikumbe advised parents and guardians to give their children adequate starchy food such as nsima, rice and cassava before taking the drugs to overcome side effects.
He also encouraged the public to follow good hygiene practices in order to prevent Bilharzia and other related diseases.
"People should uphold high levels of hygiene, they must always urinate and defecate in toilets to reduce the infestation of Bilharzia and intestinal worms," he advised.
In her remarks, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology Public Relations Officer (PRO), Lindiwe Chide advised teachers in all schools to monitor every pupil at their school so that they receive the drugs during the exercise.