By Malu Cadelina Manar
Kidapawan City – At least 36 high school students from a public school in North Cotabato complained of head and stomachaches after partaking of ferrous sulfate or iron supplements the health staff gave them on Friday, an official from the Cotabato Schools Division of the Department of Education (DepEd) said.
Cotabato Schools Division Superintendent Omar Obas said students from the Pigcawayan National High School in Pigcawayan town were rushed to a nearby rural hospital for treatment.
A doctor at the hospital told Obas the students were just suffering from “mass hysteria” brought about by negative reports about the Dengvaxia vaccine.
Obas said it started when one of the students vomited and complained of stomach pains after she was given a ferrous sulfate.
“When her classmates learned of her situation, some of them also complained of the same ailment. So, there was mass hysteria. Understandably, these students knew about what happened with Dengvaxia vaccine,” said Obas.
The official stressed parents and guardians of these students need not worry as the iron supplements given the children were different from the Dengvaxia vaccine distributed in different parts of Luzon in 2017.
Obas was told the students have already gone back home after their classes ‘healthy, safe, and sound.’
Elementary and high school students from different towns in North Cotabato were given free ferrous sulfate on Friday.
The provincial DepEd official clarified health staff from the Department of Health (DoH) in the province administered the distribution of the food supplements to different schools.
Meantime, North Cotabato was not among those that received the Dengvaxia vaccine when these were distributed last year, Obas said.