Lagos State government yesterday said it had commenced the mass administration of de-worming medicine for the treatment and prevention of Soil-Transmitted Helminths (STH) in 10 local government areas (LGAs) of the state.
The government through the Ministry of Health, partnered with a Non-governmental Organisation; Evidence Action to de-worm a total of 1,333,165 school-aged children in public and private primary and junior secondary schools in 10 endemic LGAs.
Speaking during the official flag off of the exercise held at St. Peter Anglican Primary School, Alausa, the commissioner for health, Prof. Akin Abayomi explained that Soil-Transmitted Helminths (STH) which is prevalent in school-age children is a significant infectious public health burden in Nigeria that result from poor sanitation and hygiene conditions.
According to him, STH is a worm infection that interferes with nutrient uptake; and can lead to anemia, malnourishment and impaired mental, physical and cognitive development which usually pose a serious threat to children’s health, education, and productivity.
The Commissioner who was represented by the Lagos State Coordinator, Neglected Tropical Diseases, NTD, Mr. Olanrewaju Jenrola, noted that the state treatment strategy is based on the prevalence of STH being determined by a state-wide mapping and scientific survey as spelt out by the guidelines from Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization.
While noting that a total of 1,333,165 school-aged children in public and private primary and junior secondary schools in 10 endemic LGAs of Ajeromi-Ifelodun, Amuwo-Odofin, Apapa, Badagry, Epe, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, Ojo and Shomolu are targeted to be dewormed during the STH treatment exercise, the Commissioner stated that the exercise will come to an end on Friday 21st May, 2021.