By Lawrence Olaoye
As an extension of its National Home-Grown School Feeding (NHGSF) Program, the federal government has resolved to carry out de-worming exercise for school children in 17 states of the federation.
The Presidency, in a statement by Senior Special Assistant on media and publicity in the office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, made this disclosure yesterday.
According to him, NHGSF will be collaborating with the Ministry of Health to deliver an integrated de-worming programme for pupils in all public primary schools classes 1 to 6 across 17 states in the country.
He stated “At least 243 Local Government Areas will benefit from the de-worming exercise in the 17 states, including Abia, Akwa Ibom, Enugu, Niger, Osun, Bauchi, Jigawa, Katsina, Zamfara, Anambra, Benue, Imo, Kano, Kaduna, Ebonyi, Delta and Plateau states.
“The integrated programme, which is scheduled for the first and second week of December in these states, will deliver three different drugs for the treatment of diseases endemic to specific states; particularly schistosomiasis; soil-transmitted helminths and river blindness/onchocerciasis. The drugs to be distributed are Albendazole, Ivermectin and Parazaquintel.
Supported by the Federal Government, three facilitators would be within the states for the period to achieve these objectives and ensure that the pupils in these states are de-wormed.”
The statement also disclosed that over 5 million primary schools pupils in 19 states of the federation are now benefiting from the school feeding programme.
Beneficiaries include Anambra, Enugu, Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Ebonyi, Zamfara, Delta, Abia, Benue, Plateau, Bauchi, Taraba, Kaduna, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Imo, Jigawa and Niger states.
“So far, over five million pupils (5,226,039) in 28,249 schools in these states are currently been fed under the programme, while Kano and Katsina states are expected to be added to the beneficiaries states in the coming weeks.
“Also, over 50,000 cooks are currently engaged under the programme.
The school feeding programme, which is part of President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s N500 billion National Social Investment Programmes, NSIP, has a target to feed 5.5 million schoolchildren by the end of 2017.”