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June 19, 2024

Cholera: Parents prevent children from going to school

Cholera: Parents prevent children from going to school

….We have contingency plan – Lagos govt

…NUT lauds govt

By Adesina Wahab

Some parents, who are concerned about the health of their children, on Wednesday did not allow their wards to go to school as primary and secondary schools in Lagos State resumed after the mid term and Sallah break.

Their fear was hinged on the outbreak of Cholera in the state and some parts of the country.

Checks by Vanguard Newspaper in some parts of Lagos namely Lagos Island, Ajah area and Alimosho showed that some parents did not feel comfortable with the health situation in their communities and asked their wards to hold on.

This is just as the Lagos State government and the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, reacted to the development, giving the assurance that all is well.

A mother, who simply gave her name as Esther and who resides on Lagos Island, said she would prefer her children resuming classes next week after observing the trend of things.

“My daughter, who attends a secondary school on the Island won’t resume until next week. I am not okay with the situation of things on the Island. Most people lack potable water and the state of hygiene in most places is bad. To worsen the situation, that is a densely populated area. From what the government has even told the public, it is one of the endemic areas of the outbreak of the disease,” she said.

Echoing the same feeling, another mother, Abike, who lives in Agbado area of the state, said there was no point rushing her children back to school.

” Now, we have just a few days left in the week and the issue of the cholera outbreak has not been totally curtailed, why the rush to go back to school? Most schools don’t have clean sources of water and for the food vendors allowed to sell to the children, one cannot vouch for their cleanliness, though they were screened before being allowed to work as vendors,” she stated.

Our correspondent observed that at Nurudeen Adewale Primary School, Agbado and nearby Agbado Junior High School, the number of pupils and students who were present in the morning assemblies was not too encouraging.

An Agbado, Lagos based radio station, Faaji FM, in one of the programmes aired in the morning of Wednesday, advised parents and guardians to follow the health guides and tips given by the state government regarding steps to curtail and prevent the spread of the disease.

The presenter further advised parents to ensure they prepare the food items and the water their children would take to school.

This is to avoid buying food items from unwholesome sources.

Everything is okay – Commissioner

Contacted on phone, the Commissioner for Basic Education, Lagos State, Hon. Jamiu Alli-Balogun, said the resumption of pupils and students went well.

“Yes, all primary and secondary schools in Lagos State resumed from their break today, Wednesday. Everything went well. We have met with officials of the Ministry of Health and there is no cause for alarm. We are prepared for any eventuality and so far, there has been none.

“It was just a matter of activating all the health measures we put in place when we had the COVID-19 pandemic and from what we have got as reports, a large number of pupils and students resumed as envisaged. The state government is not relenting in combating the cholera scourge or any other that may arise. Our schools are safe for teaching and learning,” he said.

We are okay with steps taken by govt – NUT

The Chairman of the Lagos State Council of the NUT, Comrade Hassan Akintoye, also told Vanguard that his union is satisfied with the steps so far taken by the government in curbing cholera and preventing it from spreading to schools.

“The state government has always been proactive in situations like these. We are okay with the steps so far taken by them. They have been up to the task. Regarding the attendance today in our schools, we are okay with it too. The pupils and students have been away for about one and a half weeks. Some students would naturally be tired of staying at home and be eager to resume, while some would not.

“Generally speaking, one can say the attendance was fine from reports from our colleagues in schools. As for the fear being expressed by some parents, they should do away with such. Whether at home or in school, everybody, including parents, should observe hygienic practices to safeguard their health, ” he opined.

Following the outbreak of the disease, the United Nations Children Emergency Fund, UNICEF, issued a statement, calling on government not to allow the disease to spread to school environment, as most public schools are overcrowded and lack potable water.