By Dayo Johnson-Akure
SIXTY thousand primary school pupils across three council areas in Ondo State were weekend de- wormed, courtesy of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation/ Chevron Joint Venture.
The council areas are ldanre, Okitipupa and Owo.
Flagging off the exercise in ldanre, the General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs, Esimaje Brikinn said the gesture was to uplift the health and development of Nigerians, especially the children.
Speaking through Chevron Director of Government Affairs, Senator Gbenga Aluko, Brikinn said the company focused on de- worming because the effect of worms infestation on children of school age had assumed an alarming dimension.
Brikinn said the parasitic infections could prevent children from achieving their potentials.
He lamented that over 270million preschool age children and over 600million school age children live in areas where parasites are intensively transmitted and are in need of treatment and preventive intervention.
Over 80,000 school pupils were de-wormed in 2013 during the first phase which took place in Akure North, Akure South and llaje council areas of the state.
Ondo State Education Commissioner, Mr Femi Agagu, said that worm parasites contribute significantly to malnutrition of children by stealing the nutrients they ingest, leading to dangerous health condition like severe anaemia, stunted growth and low immunity.
Wife of the state governor, Betty Anyanwu Akeredolu, decried the habit of building houses without toilets, pipe borne water and good environment, saying they breed worms.
The state Health Commissioner, Dr Wahab Adegbenro, said a child needed to be de-wormed every three months, adding that adults should also be de-wormed regularly.