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Sunday, 3 May 2015

WHO, Federal Ministry of Health set to conduct survey on Soil Transmitted Helminthes among children in Ekiti

A survey exercise on the prevalence of Soil Transmitted Helminthes (STH), a health condition that is caused by a group of worms (aran inu), which exist as parasites in the intestine of infected people will be carried out in Ekiti State between Tuesday, May 5 and Wednesday, May 13, 2015.

Results of the nine days survey, which is sponsored by Children Investment Fund Foundation  (CIFF) in collaboration with the World Health Organisation  (WHO),  Federal Ministry of Health and Ekiti State Ministry of Health will be used by the Ekiti State Ministry of Health to receive free drugs from the World Health Organisation through the Federal Ministry of Health.

Special Assistant to the State Governor on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, who made this known in a statement issued on Sunday, said school-aged children in Ekiti State will be treated when the free drugs are delivered later this year.

He said the State governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose has urged parents in the State not to panic over the exercise as it was aimed at the well-being of children in the State.

The survey will be carried out in 11, out of the 16 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the State, with five schools to be randomly selected in each of the 11 LGAs.

The five LGAs not included in the exercise are Ado, Ikere, Emure, Ise/Orun and Ekiti Southwest.

Samples of stool of 50 to 60 students will be collected under the guidance/supervision of school teachers and collected samples will be examined within the school premises, using mobile laboratories.

Stool samples examined will be returned to each pupil for personal disposal under the guidance/supervision of school teachers.

STH affects mostly young children between the ages of five to 15 years living or playing in areas where sanitation is poor.

The effect of STH include Anaemia, Vitamin A deficiency,  malnutrition, loss of appetite, retarded growth and reduced learning ability.

Nigeria is said to have the highest burden of this disease in Africa with over 28 million children in the country at the risk of contracting STH infection.

Through survey carried out in five LGAs last year,  it was discovered that the prevalence rate of the disease was alarming, with about one out of every three children infected in some of the schools surveyed.

Governor Fayose therefore called on parents and teachers in the State to cooperate with health officials that will be carrying the exercise in the 11 LGAs from Tuesday this week to Wednesday next week.

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