Govt. targets six million children in mass deworming exercise


NAIROBI, Kenya, 19th January 2016 – The government will this year deworm over six million school-age children between six and 14 years.

The exercise to be implemented by the Ministries of Health and Education will distribute drugs worth KES 1 billion to treat children whether in school or out against intestinal worms and bilharzia.

The campaign will be carried out in two phases.  The first phase will commence on 28 February  in 19 Counties of Bomet, Bungoma, Homabay, Kakamega, Kericho, Kisii, Kisumu, Migori, Nandi, Narok, Nyamira, Transnzoia, Vihiga, Garissa, Kirinyaga, Kitui, Machakos, Makueni and Wajir Counties and the second phase will be in May in  8 Counties of Busia, Kilifi, Kwale, Lamu, Mombasa, Siaya, Taita Taveta and Tana River Counties

On Thursday, Head of the Neglected Tropical Diseases Unit Dr. Sultani Matendechero revealed that the team is already on the ground conducting advocacy and sensitization campaigns. He 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.

Dr. 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 towards meeting the global targets for elimination of worms,” said Dr. Matendechero.

Over eight 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.