Deworming drive likely to suffer setback in private schools.

PESHAWAR -- The private educational institutions are not cooperating in the deworming campaign started by the health department to provide free tablets to the students aged 5 to 14 years, officials say.

On November 11, Private Schools Regulatory Authority (PSRA) wrote a letter to all private schools to extend full cooperation to the health teams and ensure taking the tablets by all students.

However, health department officials said the drive was under way smoothly in public sector schools and seminaries while response from the out-of-school children was also positive but they were facing issues in private educational institutions.

The campaign, meant to administer single dose oral tablet to 7.8 million children in 22 districts, is likely to suffer a setback in more than 9,000 private schools housing about two million students.

PSRA officials say they haven't received any complaint from health dept

The principal of a private school told Dawn that they had no objection to the drive because it was government-run initiative. However, he said that they had to get consent of the parents of students for giving them the dose.

'In the past, incidents of reaction have been reported among students after getting polio vaccine. Therefore, we cannot force the students to take the pills,' he said.

He said that health department should launch awareness campaigns at community level prior to start of such drives so that the parents could allow their children to take strawberry-flavoured pills.

He said that private schools could take risk to force students to take the tablets for fear of reaction.

Officials of health department said that positive response from public sector schools was more than 90 per cent while they faced resistance from 50 per cent children of private schools during the drive.

They said that the department engaged Lady Health Workers (LHW) in Peshawar, Charsadda, Nowshera, Mardan, Swabi, Swat and Kohistan Upper to make the campaign a success.

They said that LHWs enjoyed trust of people as they were based in the community. They said that the...

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