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1000 healthcare workers administer deworming tablets in Cross River schools 

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Cross River Commissioner for Health, Dr Henry Egbe Ayuk

By Akpan David, Calabar

No fewer than 1000 healthcare workers are visiting 2000 schools in 2000 communities across 14 identified local government areas in Cross River State to administer deworming tablets received from the World Health Organization,  WHO.

Neglected Tropical Diseases, NTD, coordinator in the state, Mrs Veronica Mark who disclosed this, said the state ministry of education has dedicated five days to administer the drugs to 886,000 school and out-of-school children between ages 5 to 14 in the endemic LGAs.

She said that the school based exercise is held annually to treat against soil-transmitted intestinal worm infections particularly common in children.

Mark said the whole 18 LGAs of the state have the challenge but that 14 are more endemic.

“During this 5-day deworming exercise, we will visit primary and secondary schools, not necessarily government schools. We shall also attend to the identified children who are not in school. We therefore encourage parents to encourage their children to be in school for the tablets.

“We have trained 1000 healthcare workers to administer the Mebendazole tablets from 24 to 29 April 2024. They will be in over 2000 schools and 2000 communities in the affected 14 LGAs,” she said.

She explained that intestinal worm infections  result from poor sanitation and hygiene conditions, leading to anemia, malnourishment  and impaired mental and physical development. 

According to her, the infections  affect mostly the poor who are less able to afford costs of diagnosis and treatment.

The deworming exercise is in collaboration with State ministry of education, Primary  healthcare development agency, State Universal Basic Education Board with technical assistance from Evidence Action.

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