“COVID-19 has definitely hampered other health programs such as our immunization and nutrition programs. We are in the middle polio epidemic now. We need to address this,” Dr. Ian Christian Gonzales, DOH-10 head of the Infectious Disease Cluster said.
Dr. Gonzales also explained that intestinal worms, COVID-19 and other infectious diseases have something to do with proper hygiene, proper handling of food, and handwashing to avoid the diseases.
“Globally, there are 1.5 billion people being infected with intestinal worms and it’s a very sad thing to know because unlike for COVID-19, we have the means to treat this. Our deworming program has been here for decades. Our medicines are proven to be safe and effective, and are used worldwide,” he said.
The World Health Organizations (WHO) classified intestinal worms as “neglected disease,” as there is no much investment to control it despite it being easily preventable/treatable.
“We just lack the necessary push. It’s not just the DOH that should pursue the battle, but the local government and all government agencies as well” Sr. Gonzales said. (VPSB/PIA10)