By CHIDI NWOKPARA
The first phase of deworming of 20,000 school children, sponsored by Chevron/NNPC joint venture, has kicked off at Township Primary School, Owerri, Imo State.
General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs, PGPA, Engr. Femi Odumabo, said the exercise is part of several health intervention programmes undertaken by Chevron for its community.
“This exercise is aimed at ridding children aged 6-12 of worms. The effect of worm infestation, especially on children of school age, has assumed such alarming dimensions that it requires concerted efforts from all stakeholders to fight the ailment,” he said.
He recalled that the World Health Organization, WHO, estimates that roundworm, whipworm and hookworm infections with associated morbidity, affect approximately 250 million, 46 million and 151 million people respectively.
“The report indicates that these parasitic infections prevent children from achieving their full potential in physical performance and education”, Odumabo said.
Earlier in his address, the Coordinator, Imo Sate School Health Services Programme, Dr. Sam Madugba, said the present administration appreciates that the health of school children is sacrosanct.
“The health systems of children are delicate and developing and must be protected. After today, we will meet and strategize on how to reach 19,000 other children in Owerri Municipal and contiguous communities”, Madugba said.