Gambia launches Drug Administration Campaign

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Ministry of Health and Social Welfare with support from Word Health Organization (WHO) have launched a campaign on mass drug administration to treat schistosomiasis and soil transmitted helminthiasis. The campaign commenced on 17th August and will end on 31st August.

The campaign is a WHO intervention for the treatment of schistosomiasis and soil transmitted helminthiasis on the use of praziquantel and ibendazole.

The campaign target groups for soil transmitted helminthiasis in children between the ages of 1 to 14 years while children older than 14 years are risk adults. For Schistosomiasis, it targets children between the ages of 4 to 14 years and children older than 14 years are risk adults.

Based on information obtained from the 2015 mapping survey, twenty-four districts will be targeted for soil transmitted helminthiasis treatment and two districts for Schistosomiasis.

The mass drug administration team will be stationed at schools, pre-schools, madrassas and community centers (bantabas). They will be using Praziquantel 600mg tablets for treating Schistosomiasis and Albendazole 400mg tablets for treating soil transmitted infections.

Head of epidemiology and disease control program Sanna Sambou said at a press briefing at NaNA office on Monday that this is the second phase of the mass drug administration; the first phase conducted in 2016.

He appealed to parents to ensure that their kids are available to have access to the drugs as and when required, adding that the campaign is an opportunity that they don’t have to miss. He also urged the public to discourage their kids from playing in stagnant waters, where the infections are picked.

Author: Isatou Senghore-Njie