By Ameena Tara D. Manio
The Provincial Health Office (PHO), Department of Health Region 02, Research Institute of Tropical Medicine, University of Manila-College of Public Health, Department of Agriculture Region 02, Department of Education Region 02, and the local government unit of Gonzaga recently launched the Schistosomiasis control program at barangay Tapel in Gonzaga, Cagayan.
Schistosomiasis is commonly known as “snail fever.” This disease affects the liver, central nervous system, and other organs where eggs of a blood fluke (parasite) called Schistosoma japonicum get lodged. Manifestation of the disease depends on the species a person is infected with and it is acquired mostly through personal habits and livelihood requiring contact with schisto-infested waters. It is transmitted through a tiny freshwater snail (Oncomelania hupensis quadrasi), which serves as intermediary between its hosts.
The program was highlighted with the declaration of Commitment to Support Schistosomiasis in Gonzaga joined by our local government unit, heads and officers from different sectors. The program was started by the presentation of Dr. Lydia Leonardo of the UP Manila-College of Public Health on the Schistosomiasis Control and Elimination Program (SCEP) Manual of Operations.
Meanwhile, Dr. Jaime A. Guillermo Provincial Veterinarian, administered the Symbolic Praziquantel Treatment of Bovines. A presentation of signages for snail sites and maps of barangays with snail sites was also conducted.
Dr. Marcos Mallillin, Provincial Health Officer said that the launching of the prevention and control efforts held in Gonzaga is part of the continuing 10K Agenda on Kalusugan of Governor Alvaro T. Antonio. “Schistosomiasis prevention and control program is indeed one way to promote and sustain health among the townspeople of Gonzaga,“ Dr. Mallillin said. He also mentioned that the result of the activity will become a model of the DOH in its continuous fight against Schistosomiasis.
To further increase the full cooperation of the community, Schistosomiasis Poster and Slogan Making, and Jingle contests were participated by students in Gonzaga.