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PIA Press Release

90,000 children to avail of War-on-Worms project

by PS Mabaquiao

San Jose, Antique (20 September) -- More than 90 thousand pupils (Grades 1 to 6 including preparatory classes in public elementary schools) in the province will avail of the War on Worms (WOW) Project in Visayas said Leonora Casalan, Public Health Nurse (Nurse Incharge), Division of Antique.

War on Worms in Western Visayas is a partnership between Janssen Pharmaceutica (Johnson&Johnson Philippines Inc.) and the Department of Education a school based intestinal helminth control project.

In February 2007, a partnership between Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and Task Force Child Survival and Development was launched aimed at reducing the burden of soil-transmitted helminth in million of the world's children. In this partnership J&J committed to donate 50 million doses of mebendazole (deworming) in 2007 to benefit around 25 million children globally.

For the Philippine component of the donation initial discussion started in March 2007 between Janssen Pharmaceutica & University of the Philippines College of Public Health. It was agreed that the project should be school based and will be done in partnership with the Departments of Education and Health and the Local Government Units.

Launching of the project will be done on September 28 in Pandan Central School, Pandan, Antique with Education and Health Secretaries, Jeslie Lapuz and Francisco Duque respectively as guests of honor while simultaneous deworming of all elementary school children will be on October 19, 2007. The provinces of Antique, Aklan and Capiz are identified beneficiaries in Region 6.

Data further showed that in previous years more than a third of children in these provinces in Region 6 are underweight or stunted based on Food and Nutrition Research Institute. The three provinces are beneficiaries of Food for School Program.

The project is also designed to provide drugs for mass treatment of all elementary school children in the province of Aklan, Antique and Capiz for two years and monitor its impact on parasitological morbidity, nutritional status and school performance via research and monitoring component. (PIA) [top]

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