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Kakamega rolls out campaign against bilharzia, worms

The County government of Kakamega has rolled out a mass drug administration to control the spread of Bilharzia and parasitic worm infestation that has been on an upsurge in the area.

According to the County Director for Public Health, Dr. William Okello, the move follows a survey and tests that were conducted in September this year which revealed that large number of residents were infected.

“A survey was done in September 2021 and according to the findings,53 out of 60 wards of Kakamega were found to have soil transmitted ‘helminths’ mainly the intestinal worms,” Dr. Okello said adding that schistosomiasis was also found in 11 out of 60 wards in the county.

Dr. Okello, spoke at the Kakamega County Referral Hospital when receiving the drugs donated by World Health Organization (WHO) and African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) towards the venture.

Dr. Okello said that the drugs will help fight schistosomiasis and soil transmitted helminths (parasitic worms) such as roundworms and hookworms.

“It is believed that schistosomiasis only affects people living around the Lakeshore but there are activities that take place along rivers and swampy areas that expose the population to these parasitic worms” he explained.

“The survey revealed that most people are at a high risk and therefore there is a need for us to cover the entire population so as to prevent spread of these infections in the community” added the medic.

“We will conduct mass drug administration targeting everyone above two years of age because they are the ones prone to these infections,” added the Medic.

He said that they have conducted training for Community Health Volunteers (CHV) and Community Health Assistants who will help in drug distribution in the community.

He therefore encouraged parents to allow their children to take the drugs and also adults so as to improve their health.

“We hope the drugs we have received will go a long way in alleviating the worm infestation problem in Kakamega County, ” he added.

By Margaret Andeso

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