The Kenyan government said it will spend 10 million U.S. dollars on drugs to deworm over 6 million school-age children between six and 14 years old.

The ministries of health and education will carry out the exercise to distribute drugs to treat children whether in school or out against intestinal worms and bilharzias, said a statement from the health ministry received on Sunday.

Head of the Neglected Tropical Diseases Unit Dr. Sultani Matendechero said the team is already on the ground conducting advocacy and sensitization campaigns.

Matendechero noted that teachers will be trained in the exercise which is open to pre-school children.

“Pre-school children who are able to come for the drugs will not be sent back. There will be provision for them but their guardians will have to bring them over to schools where we will be conducting the exercise,” he said.

The campaign will be carried out in two phases. The first phase will commence on February 28 in 19 counties.

Matendechero explained that the campaign aims at improving the performance of school going children and school attendance and reduce general worm load in the community since school-age children form approximately 25 percent of the population.

“The campaign will therefore go a long way in helping Kenya progress toward meeting the global targets for elimination of worms,” Matendechero said.

Over 8 million tablets for intestinal worms and three million tablets for bilharzia which were donated by GlaxoSmithKline and the Merck Group (Merck KGaA) will be distributed in the affected areas.

The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), the END Fund and Evidence action will also support the drug distribution exercise. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/

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