By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
A United States of America (USA) based Non Governmental Organization (NGO), Evidence Action (EA) is to deworm over 800, 000 school age children in 13 Local Government areas of Oyo State.
The EA Programne Manager, Mr Joseph Kumbur dropped this hint in Ibadan on Monday while speaking during an interactive section with members of the Social Mobilization Committee, which included; religious leaders, community leaders and media practitioners, held at Palm 77 Hotel, Agodi, Ibadan.
According to the Evidence Action Programme Manager, this is in line with the mass deworming of school age children in Oyo state slated to kick off on October, 23, this year.
Mr. Kumbur stressed that the project tagged “Deworming Campaign”, for children of age 5 and 14 in the 13 local government areas.is to be taken to about 4,500 schools within the council areas namely; Afijio, Akinyele, Atiba, Egbeda, Irepo, Iseyin, Lagelu, Ogo-Oluwa, Oluyole, Ona-Ara, Oyo East, Oyo West and Saki East.
Speaking further, the Evidence Action’s Programme Manager, said Nigeria has over 70% of worm burden in Africa, adding that “it is endemic in rural communities and
that so far, Evidence Action has treated over 3 million children in four states in Nigeria, namely Rivers, Cross Rivers, Ogun and Oyo, since 2016 when it started its operations in the country.
The Evidence Action Programme Manager disclosed that the NGO is working in about 7 countries including India, Pakistan, Libya and Kenya , saying, Evidence Action has successful dewormed 160million children in India, 7million in Kenya and 3million in Nigeria.
Mr Kumbur while identifying the negative effects of worms to eating unhygienic food, unsafe water and living in areas without necessary amenities such as rural areas gave the negative effects of not deworming to include hindering normal growth as well as intellectual and cognitive development in children.
The Evidence Action Programme Manager maintained that the NGO will train and make use of teachers to administer drugs to pupils in their respective schools in and across the 13 selected local governments
Oyo state Coordinator for Neglected Tropical Diseases, Mrs. Jemila Aderonke Aliyu while speaking said the planned mass deworming was targeted at school age children considering the fact that they are the most vulnerable to soil transmitted worms.
She stressed that in addition to deworming the school age children in their various schools, there will also be provisions for the out of School Children within the thirteen council areas will also benefit from the project.