No fewer than 425 children and 50 adults were dewormed free of charge at Bode-Osi community via Iwo in Osun State by the Ayofe Health Awareness Initiative, a non-profit group as part of efforts to promote healthy living in rural areas in the state.
The group conducted the free deworm in conjunction with Medicare Trust
Foundation and also organised an intensive sensitization programme for the people of the community on the importance of deworming children and also encouraged the adults to deworm, explaining that deworming is not limited to the kids only.
At the event with the theme: “Deworming Our Children: Key to Development”,the Director of Ayofe Health Awareness Initiative, Honorable Adebayo Muritala described worm infestation as major health problems suffered by children, and stressed that such condition needs adequate attention.
He explained that lack of proper and regular deworming could cause stunted growth and hinder intellectual development of children.
According to him,"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 decided to organise this programme. The awareness programme covers thirty five villages and it taking place in 5 centres. Our major focus are the children between ages 2 and 14, though we are also including some adults.”
"The health of our children is important and relevant to the development of our society because when they are healthy, they will have access to education, they will assimilate well. It is not just about making education free, the children have to assimilate well too."
Muritala therefore urged parents to deworm their children every 3 month and consult medical experts for necessary advice.
"Parents should not limit deworming of their children to this exercise alone. They should do it on a regular basis. They should visit primary health care centres and consult experts and avoid drug abuse which is part of what we are trying to prevent.”
The chairman of the partnering group, Medicare Trust Foundation, Dr Mustapha Hassan said "We are here to give health service, free of charge,to those who do not have access to it. The importance of deworming children cannot be overstated.
"We found out that worms affect children and adults especially those in rural areas who could not take care of their health appropriately. It stunts their growth and affects their development. It has also been discovered that regular deworming fights against worm infestations and that is why we are here."
A Pharmacist that was administering drugs to children, Pharmacist Kamarudeen Bankole also said proper deworming helps children to develop well psychologically.
He said "Sometimes, you see a child looking smaller than his age. More often than not, it is a result of worm infestation because when worms start to compete with the food you eat, it naturally affects your growth. I salute the organisers of this programme, it is a laudable project.
The traditional ruler of Bode-Osi, Onibode of Bode-Osi who was all smiles all through the program, Oba Abioye Nureni Oyewale Ojo II, while speaking with Daily Trust, expressed his happiness over the event.
He said, "In fact, we are very happy. When Honourable Muritala first informed us of this event, we announced it in Mosques, Churches and the public palace because we know it is a good programme.