Parents distrust deworming program due to Dengvaxia scare

Pupils of the West Central School in Dagupan City say no to intestinal worms during the launch of National School Deworming Day  in 2015. Cesar Ramirez, file

Parents distrust deworming program due to Dengvaxia scare
Roel Pareño ( - January 31, 2018 - 8:20am
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — The Department of Health regional office in the Zamboanga Peninsula said Tuesday that controversy surrounding the Dengvaxia dengue vaccine has affected the government deworming program in Western Mindanao.
Dr. Joshua Brillantes, DOH assistant regional director, said the vaccine scare has reduced the number of public school students allowed to participate in the second round of mass drug administration this year.
"As anticipated, it would affect the other good programs we have. It was sad to note Filipinos failed to appreciate other programs of the DOH such as this deworming that was proven to be safe," Brillantes said.
Brillantes said parasitic worms could affect children's health and could keep them from coming to school.
Dr. Sitti Nurusamsi Amilasan, head of the infectious disease cluster of DOH-9, said they reached just about 46 percent of their target number of children. They had hoped to have 85 percent of students undergo a second round of deworming this year against a 92-percent success rate in the 2017 round.
Health officials said that most parents across the region refused to give their consent for their children to be given a deworming pill.
Brillantes appealed to the media, school authorities and the local government to help them in clearing the misconception about the deworming pills.
Investigations into the Sanofi Pasteur vaccine are ongoing after the pharmaceutical giant said last lst year that it had found that those vaccinated but had not previously been infected with dengue risked contracting severe dengue despite the vaccination.
The Department of Health is looking into deaths attributed to the vaccine but has yet to conclude that Dengvaxia caused the deaths.

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