In 14 LGs, C’River will deworm 886,292 youngsters

Apr 25, 2024 | Health | 0 comments

Veronica Mark, the coordinator of the Cross River State Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) program within the state’s Ministry of Health, has unveiled plans to launch a free school-based deworming initiative targeting 886,292 children aged five to 14 across 14 local government areas.

Scheduled from April 24 to 29, the program aims to address Soil-Transmitted Helminths (STH) and Schistosomiasis (SCH), prevalent among children. Mark explained that around 1,000 healthcare workers are undergoing training to administer deworming tablets in over 2,000 schools and communities across 14 local government areas, excluding Abi, Boki, Ikom, and Obubra.

Mark emphasized that the initiative seeks to bridge existing inequality gaps, aligning with the country’s development objectives for equitable health and education access.

“These infections, stemming from poor sanitation and hygiene, disproportionately affect school-age children, leading to anemia, malnourishment, and stunted development,” Mark elaborated, stressing the significance of timely intervention to prevent long-term educational and economic repercussions.

During this phase, approximately 623,828 school-aged children will receive Mebendazole tablets for STH preventive treatment, with 173,000 targeted for Schistosomiasis (SCH) treatment.

Tochi Ohaji, Senior Manager at Evidence Action Nigeria, noted the organization’s ongoing technical support to the federal and Cross River State governments since 2016. Over the years, they have facilitated school-based deworming for soil-transmitted helminthiasis and schistosomiasis, benefiting over 600,000 children annually in public and private schools.

Implemented by the Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) program of the Cross Rivers State Ministry of Health in collaboration with the State Ministry of Education, State Universal Basic Education Board, and the state Primary Healthcare Development Agency, the school-based deworming initiative aims to safeguard the health and well-being of children across the state.

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