48m Children Need Deworming As Lagos Takes Action


48m Children Need Deworming As Lagos Takes Action


The Lagos State Ministry of Health Neglected Tropical Diseases unit will conduct a mass school-based deworming campaign from May 20 to May 24, 2024.

This was as the NTD also said that over 48 million school-age children in Nigeria needed treatment for Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis infection, saying these infections result from poor sanitation and hygiene conditions with the highest prevalence in school-age children.

The campaign will target over 1.4m school-age children enrolled in both private and public schools, as well as those out of school.

The school-based deworming is implemented by the Neglected Tropical Disease programme of the Lagos State Ministry of Health, in partnership with the State Ministry of Basic & Secondary Education and Federal Ministry of Health.

Speaking on Friday, during an Interactive stakeholders’ meeting with journalists for the school deworming programme, the NTD Coordinator, State Ministry of Health, Mrs Roseline Dawodu, explained that if Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis was left untreated, it could lead to anemia, malnourishment, and physical impairment that would compromise a child’s educational outcomes and income as an adult.

Soil-Transmitted Helminth infections are caused by various species of parasitic worms transmitted through eggs present in human feces, contaminating soil in areas with poor sanitation.

She said, “The campaign will distribute Mebendazole tablets for preventative treatment of soil-transmitted helminthiasis, administered by over 3,000 well-trained community health workers and teachers, to school-aged children in 10 high burden Local Government Areas; Ajeromi/Ifelodun, Amuwo Odofin, Apapa, Badagry, Epe, Ibeju Lekki, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, Ojo and Shomolu in the state.”

Dawodu added that over 48m school-age children in Nigeria needed treatment for STH infection, saying these infections result from poor sanitation and hygiene conditions with the highest prevalence in schoo-age children.
She revealed that since 2021, Evidence Action had been a steadfast partner, providing technical assistance to the Federal and Lagos State Governments in implementing school-based deworming.

The Director, Public Affairs, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Tunbosun Ogunbanwo, revealed that the objectives of the meeting was to enhance the knowledge and understanding of the media and journalists regarding the Lagos School Deworming programme.
“To foster a collaborative relationship with media journalists and secure their commitment to disseminate accurate and timely information about the Lagos school deworming programme and to ensure continuous and timely collaboration between development partners and the media for health-related programme in the state, ” he said.

Senior Program Manager, Evidence Action, Maryann Edeh, who represented Country Director, Tope Ogunbi, said Evidence Action was set to move into the 10 LGAs and ensure that all at risk children within the ages of five to 14 had access to these medicines.
“The medicines are safe, they are free of charge. We are using this opportunity to call on every parent to release their children,” she advised.

Director Social Mobilisation, Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board, Hazmat Omolaja, also said
“Every parent should allow their children to take the deworming drug because it is very important.

” When children take it, they become healthier, and when they are healthy, they pay better attention in class, which enhances learning outcomes.”