Taiwo Oluwadare, Ibadan
The Oyo State Ministry of Health, on Monday, declared its intention to deworm children between age of 5 to 14 years in 13 local government areas of the state where cases of neglected tropical diseases are predominantly endemic.
According to the state’s coordinator on eradication of neglected tropical diseases, Alhaja Jemila Aliu, he said that the 13 local councils were identified during the second exercise because of high level of endemics to soil transmitted worms which is above 50 per cent.
Aliu stated that the state’s mobilisation team would be working in the endemic local governments which include Afijio, Akinyele, Atiba, Egbeda, Irepo, Iseyin, Lagelu, Ogo Oluwa, Oluyole, Ona Ara, Oyo East, Oyo West, and Saki West local governments.
Also speaking, the Programme Manager of Evidence Action, Mr. Joseph Kumbur said Evident Action is a nongovernmental organisation bases in the United States and which had de-wormed about 3 million children in Nigeria including Rivers, Ogun State and others.
He maintained that the role of the organisation was to support the state government to build capacity and also work with ministry of health and education at the state level to treat children.
Continuing, he said: “In 2014, the Federal Ministry of health and Education conducted a survey to have situational report on prevalence of tropical diseases in 33 local governments in Oyo State.
“The report showed that all local governments in the states have cases of the diseases.
“It was at this point Federal Government called Evident Action to come to support of Oyo State in eradicating the diseases and our role is to help government on capacity to achieve the task.
“We target children of 5 to 14 years of age who are mostly at the risk of the diseases.
Kumbur added that there are 130,000 cases of attribution deaths, 600 million school age children who are in risk of the diseases, 40 million pregnant women are at the risk of serious consequences while 2 million infected and 300 million with severe morbidity, an acute abdominal pain.
He added that the diseases are endemic in rural areas due to the lack of availability of social amenities like water and lack of sanitation.
“Poverty is also classified as one of the causes with health defects like inhibition of cognitive and intellectual development, hindering normal growth in children and affect productive ability”, he stated.