ZAMBOANGA CITY–At least 228 schoolchildren were downed on Wednesday in the different parts of Region 9 due to “adverse effect” of deworming tablet.

The Department of Health (DOH) conducted today simultaneous deworming of children in public schools nationwide in line with the agency’s “National Deworming Day” project.

Of the 228 affected children, 24 were admitted in hospitals while the 204 others were treated as out-patients and were eventually sent home after treatment.

Officials from the DOH regional office, however, said the number of patients may increase as reports continue to come from the different parts of the region.

Dr. Ruby Constantino, DOH assistant regional director, said that six of the 24 school children admitted are from Zamboanga Sibugay province — two in Kabasalan and four from Buug town.

She said that 13 school children were reported admitted in Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur; and five in Zamboanga del Norte–two in La Libertad, one in Polanco, and two in Dapitan City.

Constantino said the out-patients were from the following areas: Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur, 20; Lakewood, Zamboanga del Sur, 55; Piñan, Zamboanga del Norte, 69; and, Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte, 60.

Zamboanga Sibugay Governor Wilter Palma said the school children vomited and suffered stomach ache after taking the deworming tablet.

“There was lack of information dissemination on the part of DOH particularly on how to deal with various reactions to the medicine,” Palma lamented.

Constantino said it is highly possible the school children who suffered stomach ache and vomited did not eat breakfast before going to school.

Zamboanga del Norte Governor Roberto Uy has called for a thorough investigation of the incident.

Uy made the call after a provincial government personnel reported to have found two deworming tablets with 2012 expiration date.

Dr. Annette Tan from the Zamboanga del Norte provincial health office has denied the two expired tablets came from them.

Tan suspects of possible sabotage since the two expired tablets were branded while what they used to deworm the school children were generic medicines.PNA

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