The Ogun State government says, its 2019 School Based Deworming (SBD) and Community Based Deworming (CBD) exercises are targeted at over 500 thousand school children from age of 5 to 14 years across the eleven local government areas in the state, in order to curtail the prevalence of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) in those local government areas of the state.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Babatunde Ipaye, represented by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Dr. Nofiu Aigoro stated this at the sensitization of stakeholders involved in deworming exercise, held at Abeokuta, the state capital.
He said that it was imperative to deworm all children across the state, so as to control worm transmission in the community, and those children could carry worms for a long time and not having visible symptoms, noted that 534,368 school-aged children (5 – 14) years are to be dewormed, while 2,951 schools (public and private), 272 health workers and 3,576 school teachers would be involved.
“The infections have long-term impact on the health, educational, and overall well-being of the child, but the deworming tablet is safe and effective for all children, even the World Health Organization (WHO) and Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria recommended these tablets for treatment of Soil Transmitted Helminths (STH) and schistosomiasis.” Ipaye said
In the same vein, the Deputy Director, National Deworming Programme, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Obiagel Nebe, said worms infect more than one third of the world’s population with the most intense infections in children and the poor, noting that it was important to embrace the programme in order to tackle the rampant of NTDs among the children.
She added that all common worm infections in school-age children could be treated effectively with two single-dose pills, one for all the common intestinal worms (hookworm, roundworms, and whipworms) and the other for schistosomiasis (bilharzia), saying that the treatment was safe, even when given to uninfected children.
The Programme Coordinator, Dr. Islamiyat Soneye, reiterated government’s commitment in tackling the Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) in the state, noting that the diseases were group of communicable diseases of public health significance, that includes, Onchocerciasis, Schistosomiasis, Lymphatic Filariasis, Buruli Ulcer and many more.
She noted that NTDs are estimated to affect over one billion people worldwide, while 40 percent of whom were found to reside in subtropical Africa, which Nigeria has 25 percent, saying WHO focuses on over 17 of these diseases which 11 are endemic in Nigeria and the State NTDs control programme focuses on only four of these diseases.
Also, Adviser to the Governor on Special Project, Mrs. Tinuola Shopeju, represented by the Nutrition Officer, Homegrown Project, Mrs. Omolola Oluga, assured the public, parents and guardians of proper feeding of their wards for the deworming exercise, saying that government would prepare adequate food for the pupils in public schools for the take off the programme.
The event was attended by members of League of Imams and Alfas, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Parent Teachers Association (PTA), Nigeria Union of Teacher (NUT), Community Development Association (CDA), All Nigerian Conference Of Principals Secondary School (ANCOPSS) and other stakeholders.