James Sowole in Akure
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)/Chevron Joint Venture has commenced Mass Deworming Programme that will cover 60,000 pupils in Ondo State.
The programme, which will cover pupils in three local governments of Idanre, Okitipupa and Owo, was flagged off at St. Paul Mega Primary School, OdodeIdanre, and witnessed by stakeholders in the local government, the State Ministries of Education and Health, and the wife of the Ondo State governor, Mrs. Betty Anyanwun-Akeredolu.
The programme was the second phase of the deworming exercise as the first phase was implemented in 2013 during which 80,000 pupils were dewormed in Akure North, Akure South and Ilaje Local Government Areas.
Speaking at the occasion, the General Manager Policy, Government and Public Affairs (PGPA), Mr. Esimaje Brikinn, said the exercise was one of the initiatives through which the NNPC/Chevron Joint Venture seeks to uplift the health and development of Nigerians especially the children. Brikinn, who was represented by the Director of Government Affairs, Senator Gbenga Aluko, said that exercise, targeted at a total of 60,000 children is designed to make them healthier as the parasites (worm) which snapped their energies are destroyed.
“In this programme, the target children would be given safe and effective medicines produced by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Limited to eliminate infecting worms while there is also a health education aspect to ensure that children are taught how to avoid re-infection through personal hygiene.
Speaking at the flag off ceremony, wife of the Ondo State governor, Anyanwu-Akeredolu observed that the deworming exercise would help grow the health status of the school children while soliciting for proper hygienic environment among the people. The First Lady who commended the contributions of the joint partner venture (NNPC/Chevron) to the development of the health sector of the state, also pleaded personal hygiene among the school pupils.
The State Commissioner for Education, Mr. Femi Agagu said the deworming exercise would help the children to develop well and boost their learning capabilities in the society. ”This great intervention from NNPC/Chevron Joint Venture will give each of these pupils the opportunity of a good future because the future of a child depends on sound health and education.”
Also, his counterparts from the Ministry of Health, Dr. Wahab Adegbenro, argued that worm infestation was a leading cause of ill health among school age children mostly in developing countries. Adegbenro, however, solicited the need for the children to be deworm every three months in order to improve their health wise and growth.