31 August 2021 – Deworming week from 30 August to 4 September is targeting 574 000 schoolchildren in 2000 government and private schools, as well as Deeni Madaris, in Islamabad. WHO Representative in Pakistan Dr Palitha Mahipala attended the launch ceremony of the school-based deworming programme in Islamabad, supported by WHO and the Institute for Research Development, which was also attended by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Capital Development Authority Affairs Mr Ali Nawaz Awan.
“WHO estimates that over 1.5 billion people are globally infected with soil-transmitted helminths, of whom, over 835 million are children who are in need of treatment. Intestinal worms easily transmit in areas with contaminated soil and poor sanitation, disproportionately affecting children and poorer segments of society. Schoolchildren (5–14 years old) are an important high-risk group for soil-transmitted helminths infections and generally suffer the greatest intensity and morbidity. It is gratifying to witness the commitment of the Government of Pakistan and the continued technical support of the Institute for Research Development of Pakistan in combating helminth infections. The deworming campaign falls perfectly in line with the WHO’s mission to improve the health and lives of individuals globally, and WHO has been extending its full support to the campaign and will continue to be so,” remarked Dr Palitha Mahipala.