Funmi Olaitan, Ibadan
A non governmental organization (NGO), Evidence Action, is to embark on mass deworming of school age children in 13 local government areas of Oyo State.
Programme Manager of the organization, Mr. Joseph Kumbur, made the disclosure on Monday, in Ibadan, the state capital, during an interactive section with members of social mobilization committee, which include religious leaders, community leaders and media practitioners.
He said the project tagged, "Deworming Campaign", which will commence on October 23, 2018, will target over 800,000 children between the ages of five and 14 in the local government areas.
According to him, the project will be taken to about 4,500 schools within the council areas, which include Afijio, Akinyele, Atiba, Egbeda, Irepo, Iseyin, Lagelu, Ogo-Oluwa, Oluyole, Ona-Ara, Oyo East, Oyo West and Saki East, stating that Nigeria has over 70 per cent of worm burden in Africa and that it is endemic in rural communities.
He said the NGO which is based in United States of America has treated over three million children in four states of Nigeria, namely Rivers, Cross Rivers, Ogun and Oyo, since 2016 it started its operations in the country in 2016.
Kumbur while identifying the negative effects of worms on children, maintained that they hinder normal growth as well as intellectual and cognitive development in children.
He revealed further that the NGO will train and make use of teachers to administer drugs to pupils in their respective schools, stating that apart from saving cost it will make the deworming exercise faster as teachers are already familiar with the pupils.
The state Coordinator for Neglected Tropical Diseases, Mrs. Jemila Aderonke Aliyu, in her remarks, said out of school children within the 13 council areas will also benefit from the deworming exercise.