Worm Infection – Not Diarrhea or Respiratory Illness – Is Health Ministry’s Cause Célèbre

Unclean environments and poor hygiene have been blamed for intestinal worm infections. (Reuters Photo/Beawiharta)

By : Carla Isati Octama | on 8:05 PM November 05, 2015
Category : News, Health

Jakarta. The Indonesian government has somehow identified intestinal worms as among the most dire of health threats facing the country’s children, launching a national campaign on Thursday to tackle the problem.

Vensya Sitohang, the Health Ministry’s director of animal-borne diseases, said 28 percent of Indonesian children suffered from intestinal worm infection, triggered mostly by poor hygiene and an unclean environment.

“Everyone must create a healthy environment to live in and adopt healthy habits. In order to do so, the Health Ministry must keep promoting a healthy lifestyle and clean sanitation,” she said.

A representative from Johnson & Johnson, which markets a range of anti-worm medicines in the country, said at Thursday’s event that the company was “committed to creating a healthy, worm-free, future Indonesian generation.”

Intestinal worm infections account for 0.02 percent of deaths among the general population. Respiratory disease, diarrhea, neurological diseases – including meningitis and encephalitis – and typhoid account for the vast majority of causes of death among Indonesian children.

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