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11,000 pupils benefit from free health services

By Olasunkanmi Akoni, Chioma Obinna & Monsur Olowopejo
NO fewer than 11,000 pupils from 43 public schools in eight local governments and Council Development Areas of Lagos State have benefitted from the state government’s School Health Programme.

State Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, who disclosed this, weekend, while reviewing the third term activities of the school health programme, said the need to prevent, reduce, monitor and treat health problems peculiar to pupils and the school environment in the state especially in the areas of dental and eye care necessitated the introduction of the programme.

Describing school health “as the state of complete physical, mental and spiritual well-being of school children with cognizance to their environment,” Idris said the goal of the programme was to ensure that each child was as healthy as possible in order to obtain the maximum benefits from his or her education within an environment that are safe and conducive to learning.

His words: “The School Health Programme was created out of the need to address the health needs of school pupils in Lagos schools as well as their school environment. The programme is essentially aimed at the prevention, reduction and treatment of problems and illness which are peculiar to the pupils and their school environment.”

The Commissioner said pupils in schools visited were screened and treated for minor ailments which include fever, upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs), eczema, ringworm, scabies, malnutrition and ear, nose and throat, adding that pupils that were diagnosed with sickle cell, hepatitis, anaemia, undescended testis, tonsillitis among others were subsequently referred to the state secondary or tertiary health facilities for further analysis and management.

He noted that a breakdown of those treated revealed that a total of 1,211 pupils were treated for fever, URTI, scabies, eczema, malnutrition and ringworm, adding that 71 pupils with cases of hepatitis, anaemia, sickle cell and tonsillitis were referred with no fewer than 327 cases of ENT seen in 43 schools visited .

Dr. Idris explained  that among the 3,666 dental cases seen, a total of 198 pupils were treated for dental carries while 782 pupils were treated for chronic marginal gingivitis and another 158 pupils undergone dental extractions adding that a total of 526 pupils were referred to General Hospital for further management.

Some of the schools where pupils have been screened and treated during the 3rd term of year 2009 academic calendar include: St. Peter Roman Catholic Mission Primary School; Government Demonstration Primary School; Pobo Community Primary School; St. Paul Roman Catholic Mission Primary School; and Local Government Primary School all in Eredo Local Council Development Area; Methodist Primary School, Anglican Primary School and Answar-Ul-Islam Primary School in Ijede Local Council Development Area; and Methodist Primary School, Local Authority Primary School and Our Lady of Fatima Primary School in Badagry Local Government Area.

Others include, according to him are Roman Catholic Primary School, Sijuade Primary School in Ibeju Lekki L.G.A; Akanji Primary School, Sijuade Primary School, Odo-Olowu Primary School, Erinosho Primary School in Itire Ikate LCDA; Expressway Primary School, Ketu Primary School in Ikosi-Isheri LCDA; Abesan Primary School, Estate Primary School, Housing Primary School in Mosan Okunola LCDA and Metropolitan Primary School and Orile Primary School in Apapa Iganmu


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