WHO provides drugs for Oyo students to cure tropical diseases

THE World Health Organization, WHO on Wednesday provided medicines for students of Primary and junior Secondary schools in Oyo State to cure tropical diseases that are endemic in the country.

The distribution of the medicines were made available during a flag off of School based deworming exercise in Ibadan by the Ministry of Health and Education, Science and Technology in conjunction with Evidence Action, the facilitator and partner of WHO.

Speaking at the flag off ceremony, the state Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Professor Adeniyi Olowofela noted that the exercise is long overdue because of the effect of worms on school aged children between age 5 and 14 years.

The Commissioner said the worms like Ring Worms, Hook Worms, Fluke Worms and others are contacted through dirty environment, improper disposal of human waste, bathing in dirty water, eating unwashed fruits, eating with unwashed hands after using the toilet, walking bare foot and others.

According to Olowofela, the program started in 2016 with different meetings on how the school children can be treated and worms can be eradicated in the state. He added that the organizers have taken pains to train people and in turn train teachers that will administer the medicine.

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He said: “Our Children are going to be treated for free with medicine to eradicate worms. The medicines are Mebendazole and Prazequantel. These medicine are free and safe for our children”.

Justifying the essence of the program, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Azeez Adeduntan who was represented by the state Chairman of Primary Healthcare Board, Dr. Lanre Abass said children live in the environments that are not sanitized and fall victims of diseases therein, saying as a way to prevent the children from these endemic diseases was the reason the program was organized.

He explained further that children suffering from worms will be anaemic and the reproductive system affected later in life, stressing that worms affect the growth of the children, development of the brain, causes them to stay away from school and thereby affecting their academic performance.

Also speaking, the Southwest Coordinator of Evidence Action, Pharmacist Tope Ogunbi said the flagging off of school base deworming program targets two tropical diseases.

According to him, the diseases affect great numbers of people who can’t afford treatment and Nigeria is one of the countries endemic for the diseases.

“we have identified schools to carry out the program which are both private and public primary schools and Junior Secondary schools in the state. We have trained teachers in the school on how to administer medicines to the school children and the medicines are safe and free”, he said.

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