The co-venture of NNPC/Chevron has begun its campaign of deworming at least 60, 000 pupils from various primary schools in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State this year with its launch at Ikota primary school in Lekki to ensure a healthy society and protect them against diseases.
The General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs, (PGPA) Chevron Nigeria Limited, Mr. Deji Haastrup, said the company aimed at having a healthy population, which is a prerequisite for socio-economic development of any nation, hence, the deworming of over 500, 000 children between ages six and 12 in Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta, Ondo, Imo and Lagos states, using the WHO-recommended drug, Albendazole (Zentel).
“Research has shown that children that are not regularly dewormed are prone to loss of iron and protein, and this can lead to stunted growth,” the GM said, adding that the exercise is the second in Lagos in the past five years.
“Other social investment are provision of health centre at St. Kizito Clinic in Lekki, to control and eradicate tuberculosis and other infections common to HIV/AIDS patients; HIV/AIDS testing campaign in Badagry and mass de-worming exercise for school children in Alimosho, Kosofe, Ikorodu, Epe, Eti-osa and Ibeju Lekki Local Government Areas (LGAs) respectively among several others.
“The company has also executed Roll Back Malaria (RBM) awareness campaign in Ojo, Oshodi, Ikeja Epe and Ibeju-Lekki LGAs, and donated a molecular biology research laboratory to the University of Lagos Teaching Hospital (LUTH). It was the laboratory that detected the first case of Ebola Virus Disease in Nigeria thereby contributing to Nigeria’s ability to control the spread of the highly infectious and dreaded Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in 2014.”
The Co-ventures, he said has also instituted specialised educational scholarship programmes in support of health and engineering manpower development in Nigeria through targeted support for medical, nursing, laboratory sciences and engineering students on whom the Agbami Co-venturers have so far invested about N7.5 billion.
Represented by the Manager (PGPA), Lagos, Mr. Sam Otuonye, he said it was important to note that the event is as a result of the collaboration among the State Government, the people of the state, the NNPC/Chevron Joint Venture and various stakeholders that have contributed to the success of this year’s exercise.
“We will continue to count on your support for subsequent editions,” he further said.
Meanwhile, the Medical Officer of Health centre, Ikota, Dr. Oladapo Ashiyanbi, admonished pupils of ages six and 12 on regular practice of hand washing.
“You should wash your hands with soap and water eight times daily. Don’t buy roadside foods that are not covered. It is exposed to germs. Don’t pick food from the floor. Contaminated water and food gives you worm.”
He warned the over 500 pupils of Ikota, Ilasan and Lagos State Model Schools) to wash every fruits before eating. “Wash your hands after you use the toilet. Wash your hands before and after eating. Worm makes you dull and very weak. It stops you from growing well.”
Speaking further at the launch, the Group General Manager, Policy, Napims, Dafe Sejebor lauded the project as one that is designed to ensure children between ages six and 12 across the nation are dewormed of infectious parasites; thereby, preventing them from contracting other dangerous and life-threatening diseases.
“We are proud of the feat this programme has achieved in the past and the beneficiaries. We commend our Joint Venture Partner, Chevron, for this initiative and the consistency with which it has promoted this cause. We also applaud their other social investments in health, education and economic empowerment,” he said.
The GGM, who was represented by the Deputy Manager, Community Relations, Ms. Clementine Aruba, assured that as a government agency, “We are always pleased to see companies investing in programmes that add value to Nigerians and their environment. We will continue to support such that aim protect our children and improve the standard of living in our society.”
Accordingly, pupils were given packs of worm Zentel, to help them continuously deform while they were urged to give the packs to their mothers to help them.
Present at the launch are: Pharmacist (Mrs.) Uzamat Akinbile Uzamat representing Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, the wife of the Lagos state governor; the Deputy Director, Medical Services Lagos State Primary Health Care Board, Dr. Mrs. Mazeedat Erinosho representing the Special Adviser to the Governor on PHC.