NGOs are raising awareness on the importance of deworming children and are also deworming children in Bode Osi town of Osun state in Southwest Nigeria.
The Ayofe Health Awareness Initiative in conjunction with Medicare Trust Foundation embarked on awareness program on the importance of deworming through a programme themed: Deworming Our Children, Key to Development.
The Director of Ayofe Health Awareness Initiative Adebayo Muritala described worm infestation as a major health problems suffered by children, stressing that such condition needs adequate attention.
He explained that lack of proper and regular deworming causes stunted growth and hinders intellectual development of children.
“Sometimes the children will be treated for headache and pains with no response but when you just deworm, such child will be fine. So, having realised that the health of our children is key to development, we decide to organise this programme,” he said.
He added that “the awareness programme, spread across over thirty five villages has been segmented into five centers,” adding that the focus is of programme is children between ages 2 and 14, though we also benefit some adults.
Muritala therefore urged parents to deworm their children every three month and consult medical experts.
“Parents should not limit deworming of their children to this exercise alone. They should do it on a three monthly basis. They should visit primary health care center and consult experts, otherwise that will constitute drug abuse which we are trying to avoid as well”, he admosnished.
The chairman of the partnering group, Medicare Trust Foundation, Dr Mustapha Hassan also speaking on the importance of deworming said “regular deworming fights against worm infestations and that is why we are here.”
In a chat with Voice of Nigeria, the Onibode of Bode-Osi community, Oba Abioye Nureni Oyewale Ojo II, expressed happiness at having such a programme in his community.
“In fact, we are very happy. Since Honourable Muritala first informed us of this event, we announced it in Mosques, Churches and the public places because we know it is a good programme. I am happy there has been a great turn out, in fact we have recorded close to 200 children at this particular center. We pray God continue to be with him and provide for him so he will do more for the community,” he said.
One of the beneficiaries of the programme, Mrs Rahmat Musefiu who brought her two children commended the exercise and the organisers.
Her words, “but for this programme, I wouldn’t have known anything about the need to deworm my children. I really thank the organizer of the programme and pray God bless him abundantly. The programme has really educated me about the effect of worms and the need to deworm my children regularly.”
In all, 471 were dewormed across the five villages with about 90% being children.