No fewer than 80, 000 school children from three local government areas of Ondo state are to benefit from the mass de-worming programme organised by oil giant, Chevron.
The programme organised in conjunction with the Women’s Right Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA) drew beneficiaries from Akure South, Akure North and Ilaje local government areas of the state.
The programme was also designed for children who are below the age of 12.
In his address, the General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs of Chevron, Deji Haastrup, disclosed that the target of the programme was to dei-worm over 80, 000 children.
He said the organisation had early in the year deployed its de-worming programme in the state, targeted at over 10, 000 children in 10 primary schools in Akure and communities in the Ilaje Regional Development Committee (IRDC) under its Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU).
He said the organisation embarked on the exercise because it had been established that worm infestation was a leading cause of ill health and mortality in school age children, mostly in developing countries.
He added that available statistics from the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicates that hook worm was a leading cause of anaemia and protein malnutrition, afflicting an estimated 740 million people in the developing nations of the tropics.
Haastrup said, “Chevron is committed to supporting improvement in health delivery in Nigeria through investments in preventive health programmes, health and social infrastructure, sponsorship on manpower development in the health sector and provision of other health facilities.
“Chevron is delighted to engage in this de-worming campaign programmes because it is in the spirit of our commitment to being a socially responsible company, with a reputation for protecting people and environment”.
Also speaking, the wife of the the state governor, Mrs. Olukemi Mimiko, commended the contributions of Chevron to the health development of the state.
She stated that there was the need for synergy between government and the private sector towards a qualitative health care delivery for the children.
Mimiko said, “Our children are our future, we should take care of them, if we do this our future will be secured, there is the need for parents and teachers to ensure good hygiene of these children in order for them to live a disease free life”.
The Ondo state First Lady said the state government was committed to child health and infant mortality, saying that such accounted for the huge investment in the sector by the government.