To prevent soil parasite infestation, CS-Bio dept advocates hygiene, sanitation in Manito, Albay

Gives sanitary kits, footwear to residents

In its goal to promote proper sanitation and personal hygiene to children and parents of barangays Manumbalay and Malobago, Manito, Albay, Bicol University College of Science (BUCS) – Biology Department, through Project SoleMate, in partnership with BU Symbiosis and in coordination with the Rural Health Unit of Manito, conducted an outreach project on “PrACTiCE Extension Program: Proper Handwashing and Sanitation Seminar and Distribution of Slippers and Hygiene Kits,” which took place on September 7, 2022.

The department traveled to barangay Manumbalay, Manito, in the morning, and continued the activity in the afternoon to barangay Malobago, Manito.

The outreach program aims to prevent and control soil-transmitted parasite infestations in Manito, Albay. Ascaris lumbricoides, also known simply as “Ascaris,” whipworm (Trichuris trichiura), and hookworm (Ancylostoma duodenale and Necator americanus) are examples of the intestinal worms that infect humans and are spread through contaminated soil.

The majority of cases of soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infection are found in warm, humid settings with inadequate sanitation and hygiene, including temperate zones during the warm months. These STHs are categorized as neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) because they can cause severe health conditions yet are treatable or curable, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But in order to prevent these infestations in the target communities, Prof. Phil V. Morano, PrACTiCE program leader, led a proper handwashing demonstration to the children ages 1-7 years old in both barangays and engaged them with parlor games and rewards.

Afterward, a brief seminar on common plants with anthelminthic properties, used to treat infections caused by parasitic worms, was also discussed for the parent’s awareness. They also received educational fliers about anthelmintic plants.

The organizers then gave out slippers and hygiene supplies to the children, since they are more prone to contracting STHs, while being assisted by their guardians.

The project would not be possible without the support of the BS Biology students and alumni, who donated the footwear and sanitary kits, and Prof. Jocelyn E. Serrano, CS Dean, who helped in the distribution of slippers and kits as well as the discussion in the anthelmintic plants, together with the BUCS faculty members, personnel, student leaders, and volunteers. | written by Arnold C. Noda, CPRO

Photo courtesy of the BU Symbiosis

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