Zorzor,Lofa County –The National de-worming campaign which began in Zorzor and Salayea Districts, Lofa County has ended with more than forty thousand (40,000) children benefiting from the process.
The campaign targeted children between the ages of five to fourteen years but some parents who took their kids for the drug complaining about long travel distances and the lack of food to prepare children for the drug.
Zorzor District Health Officer (DHO), Daniel Fayiah, says the drugs for the campaign were provided by German group, Darmstadt, to the World Health Organization (WHO) for free distribution to designated control projects for which Liberia is no exception.
During the campaign, the DHO encouraged residents of Zorzor District to carry their children at the various centers for the medicine.
Zorzor has about five centers dedicated to the process while mobile teams moved into various quarters attending to children.
When asked by a Local Voices Liberia reporter to outline the side effects of the drugs, Mr. Fayiah admitted that there are some manner effects.“ When you take it sometime the person feel body ache, fever, dizziness, decreased appetite or vomiting after taking the medicine,” he said. “But after experiencing one of these symptoms (you should) give the child safe drinking water and then the symptom will finish (between) 2 to 3 hours.”
Madam Yassah Beyan, mother of four, says her children have already taken the medicine. “I want tell the government thank you plenty for this medicine,” Ma Yassah said excitedly. “Our children have been suffering from worms so I thank them very much for bringing worm medicine for our children.”
But Yassah also narrated the difficulties she endured while bring her kids to take the drugs, “I have to bring the children from a long distance and the children have to eat before they take the medicine, this was so embarrassing for me this rainy season.”Madam Beyan explained.
Adding, another resident of Zorzor District from Kidu town, about 10 miles from Zorzor City also complained about the distance she walked to get to the health center but thanked the District Health Team for administering the drugs free of charge. “ I’m thankful to government for the medicine, but the next time we hope the government send a team to the various towns and villages because the transportation (fare) is high and it has stopped some of our friends from coming with their children. Although this medicine is free of charge, but we’re embarrassed because of (these) problem,” Weedor Forkpah explained.
Health worker Fatu Zubah told a Local Voices Liberia reporter that the attendance has hugely increased with several people coming from all over the district to benefit, while also admitting that the challenge in administering the drug is that most parents keep complaining about the lack of food for their children when they bring them for the drug.
“On the first day we work very hard to serve everybody because when they came we had to measure them first before giving the medicine. The medicine is given according to one (child’s) height,” Zubah said. “We were unable to serve all the people that came that day but the next day we were successful in serving all the children that turned up.”
“since I started working with the District Health Teams giving vaccines and other campaign this has been the only campaign that has been successfully carried out without refusal from residents,” Mrs. Zubah furthered.
Report by: Franklin Flomo, Lofa County