Bungoma county executive for health Dr. Anthony Walela at a previous function.
By Lydia Wanaswa
Bungoma County in partnership with the Ministry of Education has embarked on an exercise that will see at least 600,000 pupils in primary schools in the County de-wormed.
Speaking to KNA, County Executive Committee member for Health Dr. Anthony Walela pointed out that approximately 80% of children in Bungoma County have worms in their bodies that need to be removed.
“Most of our school going children have never been de-wormed, hence the decision by the health ministry to undertake this activity that began on Wednesday and will be carried out in all our schools,” said Walela.
Walela said teachers are being used as the points of contact to administer the medicines and their role includes ensuring that the children eat before taking the de-worming medicine.
He clarified that children in homes will be attended to by community health volunteers who will be moving from house to house.
He said the objective of the de-worming exercise is to prevent transmission and reduce sickness in preschool and primary school going children.
The hookworm for instance is very dangerous as it can hatch in soil and hide into a child’s skin if they walk barefoot on contaminated soil.
Some children with worm infections show no symptoms at first but as the worms multiply in the bowel, they feed on the host and result in malnutrition, diarrhea, loss of appetite and abdominal pain.
Worms found in rivers and lakes cause a disease called Bilharzia which can damage the bladder, kidneys, liver and spleen.