John Waithaka, Member of Parliament of Kiambu Constituency, now wants the Ministry of Health to partner with schools and develop a policy on deworming of students.
The MP tabled the motion in parliament with an aim to mitigate negative effects of worn and parasites infestation caused by poor sanitation resulting in conditions such as anaemia and stunted growth.
“According to research, school-based deworming is one of the most cost-effective interventions that provides a huge range of holistic and social benefits,” he said.
He said with regular deworming school attendance would increase and healthier kids who do better in school.
Pointing at a previous program conducted by the Ministry of Health in partnership with a non-governmental organization called Evidence Action he said only few counties benefited from this program.
“This was only been piloted in a few selected counties and the deworming efforts have been uncoordinated and dependent on external support with no clear policy or budgetary framework,” he said.
Data from MOH, June last year, indicates that four counties constituting Western – Busia, Bungoma, Kakamega and Vihiga – 1,881,566 pupils had been treated against worms.
There are, however, 254,334 learners yet to be given deworming medication. The Health ministry targets to administer the drugs to 2,135,900 pupils in the region.
World Health Organisation warns that not deworming children as specified by medical practitioners can lead to malnutrition, low blood count, intestinal perforation and death.
According to the WHO, periodic deworming programs with a single-tablet treatment can drastically reduce the suffering of those infected with parasitic intestinal worms and protect the 1.5 billion people currently estimated to be at risk.