Friday, September 09, 2016

Myth or Truth? Licealiz Launches Campaign on What Parents Need to Know About Lice Infestation and Prevention

I grew up in the province where adults would usually prohibit kids from playing outside under the sun because they believe we will get head lice if we do. I also heard warnings that kids who won't let their moms or grandmas remove lice from their heads will be flown off towards the mountains once the lice multiplied a thousand times.

the truth is, kids can get lice from direct contact with others who have infested heads 
It's funny to find out that celebrity mom, Love AƱover, was also told the same things, and more, when she was growing up. Now that we're both mommies, I can totally relate to her story of having her child infected with head lice by their house helper. The same thing happened to my kids when they were still small.

One summer, my boys stayed with their cousin for a week and when they got home, their hair and scalps were crawling with lice! It turned out that my sister-in-law's helpers were infected and passed on the condition to all the kids they took care of. It took me days to diligently remove the nits (eggs) and lice by hand and by suyod from my boys' heads :(    

Licealiz brings the KKK campaign to public schools
Parents these days are fortunate because there's already (Pyrethrin) Licealiz, the effective and affordable head lice treatment shampoo formulated by Lamoiyan Corporation, a proudly Filipino company. With September being Head Lice Prevention Month, Lamoiyan recently launched a health education campaign with the aim to help communities around the Philippines address the problem of kuto (lice).

Dubbed Kilusang Kontra Kuto (KKK) in partnership with the Mother and Child Nurses Association of the Philippines (MCNAP) and supported by the UP Manila College of Public Health, the educational movement seeks to spread awareness about lice infestation issues while also preventing and treating head lice.
Dr. Vita explaining the advantages of using Licealiz
and dispelling myths about head lice
Yesterday, we visited the Bagong Nayon I Elementary School in Antipolo where Lamoiyan held a KKK activity. Activations ambassador, Dr. Maria Michelle Vita, who travels with the Licealiz team and gives lectures to parents of public school students about head lice prevention and treatment, explains that they formed KKK to help stop the spread of misinformation and to remove the stigma associated with being infested. 

Here are several misconceptions Filipinos have about lice and the real deal about them:

Myth: It's no big deal to have lice.
Truth: The itching sensation lice's saliva leave on the scalp lead victims to scratch their heads, which may lead to development of wounds that can get infected by dirty nails.

truth: having good hygiene is no guarantee you won't get infected with lice 
Myth: Having good hygiene prevents lice infestation.
Truth: Lice don't choose their hosts. Whether rich or poor, even the cleanest kids can experience getting head lice if they're not careful. Teach them to avoid objects that can be possibly infected such as other peoples' combs and hair accessories as these can be lice carriers. It's also probable to get head lice from sofas, headrests, shared pillows, blankets, and other items we tend to lean our heads on.

Myth: Suyod (fine-toothed comb used to remove lice), coconut oil, and kerosene are effective in getting rid of lice.
Truth: Suyod can only do so much, coconut oil does not kill lice, while kerosene can be dangerous to health and is a fire-hazard.

truth: lice do not have the capacity to jump or fly
Myth: Lice can jump and fly.
Truth: Lice have six legs and they can only crawl. Having a multitude of them on your head still won't lift you off the ground.

Myth: People with short hair will not get head lice.
Truth: Head lice feeds on blood from the scalp. Having a hair cut (unless you completely shave off all hair) will not make you less prone to lice infestation.

learn more about the campaign by watching this KKK video 

Dr. Arlene Bertuso, an entomologist and professor from UP Manila, reveals, "A study by the DepEd in 2009 estimated that 8 million public school students aged 7 to 12 years old were infested with head lice." She shared that head lice can live for up to 30 days in a human head and that females can lay up to 100 eggs in their lifetime.

While a continuous cycle produces more and more lice, itchiness could be the least of a child's worries. Many lice-infected children have experienced being ridiculed, bullied, laughed at, or shunned by their peers and this social stigma can leave lasting psychological damage as well as result in missed school days when the child refuses to attend classes anymore.

the KKK campaign aims to make public school children kuto-free  
"This problem affects a huge number of people," attests Balbina Borneo, President of the MCNAP, who revealed that nurses all over the Philippines, especially those assigned in schools, commonly encounter children suffering from head lice infestation. 

And since kuto can be easily transmitted through direct contact with an infested person or object, the solution is not just to treat the heads affected but through a joint effort by homes, schools, and communities. Parents, for instance, should regularly inspect their children's hair as well as those of everyone in the household.

moms who blog with Love, Ms. Borneo, and Dr. Bertuso
photo credit: ComCo Southeast Asia
Dr. Bertuso likewise urges communities to start regular programs wherein school nurses or barangay health workers can diagnose people with head lice and advise them on proper head lice treatment and prevention. "Head lice might not be deadly, but the social stigma associated with having them makes kuto infestation a public health problem worthy of concern," she reiterated.

Moreover, Borneo reminds adults to take action in keeping their households kuto free through simple activities such as avoiding the sharing of combs, towels, and other materials that touch the hair and regularly replacing beddings and pillowcases.

a helpful guide to treating and preventing head lice using Licealiz shampoo
This month, Licealiz is holding shampooing programs and activities for public school students all over the country as well as posting educational materials in its Facebook page about head lice and how to fight them. I personally saw how effective Licealiz is when the attendants started combing hair of the shampooed students and out came dozens of (I assume, dizzy and near death) lice clinging to the suyod.

Love discloses that when her daughter contacted lice from their helper, "We wanted to try something clinically tested and proven in removing lice. We tried Licealiz head lice treatment shampoo and, after two weeks of use, my child was lice-free!"

Licealiz is available in 10ml sachets for P12.00 each and 60ml bottles for P71.75 each
Directions for use: It is recommended that Licealiz be used twice a week (leave on for 10 minutes before rinsing) for the first two weeks to get rid of lice as the eggs left on hair strands will still hatch and breed. To ensure that no lice will remain, use Licealiz once a week on the third and fourth weeks. 

This Head Lice Prevention Month, do join the Kilusang Kontra Kuto and help change the public's perception about kuto infestation and spread correct information regarding head lice prevention and treatment. For more details and other myths and truths, visit Licealiz's Facebook page.  


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