TUBOD, Lanao del Norte (PIA)–The Department of Health (DOH) in the Northern Mindanao region told the Provincial Government through the Provincial Health Office to aim for 100% coverage in the mass drug administration (MDA) for schistosomiasis control.
The MDA is a strategy to eliminate schistosomiasis as a public health problem in the country. Currently, the DOH is only requiring at least 85% MDA coverage.
“Aim not just 85% but 100% kasi what will happen to the 15%? Dawbi kung sila ang carrier then wala sila natreat. We need to continue treating until macover nato ang 100% of the population [in endemic areas],” said Dr. Josephine Ibalio, regional program manager for vector-borne diseases, during the Provincial Schistosomiasis Task Force meeting Tuesday, December 7.
(Aim not just 85% but 100% because what will happen to the 15%? What if they are the carriers then they are not treated. We need to continue treating until we cover 100% of the population in endemic areas.)
Ibalio said measures should also be taken for special cases that cannot be treated immediately such as pregnant women and those with comorbidities.
“Sa with comorbidities, we can coordinate with the hospitals para dadto sila matreat while for the pregnant hulaton nato nga makaanak sila,” she said.
[Those with comorbidities, we can coordinate with the hospitals so that they can be treated there while for the pregnant we wait for them to give birth first.]
The MDA is given yearly to individuals aged 5 to 65 years old in areas endemic for schistosomiasis. In Lanao del Norte, four municipalities are identified as endemic, namely, Kapatagan (17 barangays), Lala (15 barangays), Sapad (5 barangays) and Salvador (4 barangays. (APB/PIA Lanao del Norte)