Almost 4000 students in the Zamboanga Peninsula, the Philippines were rushed to the hospital after drinking Anthelmintics.
Their symptoms include dizziness and vomiting.
Department of Health said that this is due perhaps to the side effects of the Anthelmintics drugs.
Anthelmintics or antihelminthics are drugs that expel parasitic worms (helminths) and other internal parasites from the body by either stunning or killing them and without causing significant damage to the host.
Many Filipino children are at risk of parasitic worm infection.
Worm infections interfere with nutrient uptake; can lead to anemia, undernourishment and impaired mental and physical development and pose a serious threat to children’s health, education, and productivity.
Infected children are often too sick or tired to concentrate at school, or to attend at all.
Mass deworming campaigns of Philippine Elementary school children have been used both as a preventive as well as a treatment method for helminthiasis which includes soil-transmitted helminthiasis in children.
The Department of Health (DOH) said that they will investigate the case but insisted that the anthelmintics drugs given to the students are not expired.
The DOH said that what the students experienced may perhaps be due to the Anthelmintics drugs’ side effects especially if the drugs were administered when they are not full.
Most of the affected students were dextrosed and given a pain reliever to relieve their pain by health workers.
The Department of Health was conducting “goodbye bulate” operation directed at elementary students when the unfortunate event happened.
According to the Department of Health, almost 100 students were admitted to the hospital since yesterday.
The DOH further said that the Anthelmintics drugs administered to the students are not expired. The Anthelmintics drugs will expire in the year 2016.
Under Secretary of Health Vicente Belizario Jr. said that no health worker in his right mind will be dispensing expired drugs.
It is advised that feeding should first be conducted before conducting any deworming operation.
The Department of Health is conducting this deworming operation because according to its data since 2006, 7 out of 10 Philippine children have internal parasites in their bodies.
The Deworming operation of the DOH is conducted twice a year. 8 million Philippine children had been dewormed since yesterday July 29, 2015.
The DOH next deworming operation is scheduled for January next year.