Nsanje: Nsanje District Health Office (DHO) Tuesday launched its training programme aimed at equipping teachers for the upcoming 2018 Schistosomiasis (Bilharzia) mass drug administration which is expected to start on October 15, 2018.
The training which took place at Nyamadzere Primary School involved briefing the teachers on the precautions that are supposed to be taken to prevent a repeat of problems that have been occurring for the past years due to the drug administration.
In an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana), Nsanje District Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) Coordinator, Stanley Chilumbu said the training has involved teachers because they are the ones close to the most vulnerable population to the disease.
As you may be aware that we look at the most risky population in this case children are at risk of the these diseases because of the nature of their behavior as they like playing with water and soil, places that harbor the worms which carry the disease.
We have deliberately engaged teachers because they spend more time with the children at school. We expect parents to work closely with the teachers in spreading the messages on how the disease is spread, its preventive measures and the precautions avoid any side effects, he said.
Head Teacher for Mbalumbe Primary School, Foster Chilemba said the training would go a long way in creating awareness on how dangerous Bilharzia is and the importance of taking the drugs to both the learners and other community members.
You may wish to know that a lot of children have had side effects after taking the drugs to the point of some even fainting, dizziness and abdominal pains. All this led a number of people shunning the campaign, he explained.
Chilemba added that, Therefore, the experiences shared during the training will help us spread the message on how people should prepare for the drug administration to avoid such cases from happening again.
Nsanje is one of the districts prone to Schistosomiasis which is second to malaria in prevalence rate.
The Mass Drug Administration will commence on October 15 and will end on October21, 2018.
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA