The Government Bilingual Primary School Bertoua was the main scene for the launch of the national campaign to deworm school-age children in Cameroon.

The campaign which runs till December 31 was launched by the Secretary General of the Ministry of Public Health,  Pr Louis Richard Njock personal representative of the Minister of Public Health and the Secretary of State to the Minister of Basic Education, Asheri Kilo as well as development partners who support the Government of Cameroon in the fight against these diseases.

Intestinal worms affect more than ten million Cameroonians and bilharzia more than two million. School-going children aged 5 to 14 are the vulnerable group most affected by these diseases. Faced with these scourges, the government, through the National Shistosomiasis and Intestinal Helminthiasis Control Program, has set up an appropriate response and led a merciless fight against these diseases.

The objective of the event was to deworm 2.3 million school-going children, whether or not they are in school in the four targeted regions of the country, namely: the East, the Littoral, the West and the South, before December 31, 2021. The concrete aim is to protect all children from bilharzia and intestinal worms. For this operation, the taking of drugs such as Praziquantel for bilharzia and Mebendazole for intestinal worms, will be administered to children (5 to 14 years old) in a single dose in the targeted regions.

However, compliance with hygiene measures remains a necessity. According to Prof. Louis Richard Njock, the East Region was chosen for the launch of the campaign given the prevalence of such diseases in that part of the country.

“We must optimize the impact of the fight by intensifying government interventions in the East region, a region whose results of impact studies have revealed the persistence of high prevalence of the disease. Bilharzia still very high. Hence the choice of Bertoua to host this official launching ceremony of the national campaign to deworm school-going children in Cameroon,”he said.

On her part, the Secretary of State at the Ministry of Basic Education recalled that “the risks posed by intestinal worms to the health of children requires the involvement of all partners for a tougher response.”

During the first phase of the 2021 edition which took place between May-June, 2.4 million children were targeted in the Adamaoua, Center and North.