As part of its contribution to the society, through one of its corporate social responsibility initiatives, Pretty Healthcare Limited, a foremost preventive healthcare organisation, will be taking its free Deworming Campaign to more schools in Lagos and other parts of the country in its second phase of the campaign tagged ‘The Kill Worm Project’. The project, which is targeting 10, 000 school children for the upcoming first term, is billed to take off upon resumption of schools this month.
During a media chat, Dr. Deola Talabi, the Executive Director in charge of School Health Programme at Pretty Healthcare said the first phase of the project was embarked on before schools went on the long break. According to her, schools in Lagos and Ogun States benefitted from the project; and some of them are Suru Primary School, Ajegunle; Magodo Primary School, Magodo; Bethlehem Girls College, Festac Town; and Federal Government Girls College, Sagamu. Others are Maryland Comprehensive Secondary School, Maryland; St Finbarrs College, Yaba, Louisville, Itele, among others.
Dr. Deola said the company understands the danger that worms pose to the well-being of children and their academics, hence the importance of regular deworming. She said as a company that specializes in screening and vaccination of deadly but preventable diseases, it believes that prevention is the best way to stay strong and healthy as against waiting to fall ill and then proceeding to curative health care. “This is the reason we decided to embark on the deworming exercise because our research has shown that many parents do not know how dangerous worms are to their children’s’ well-being,” she disclosed, adding that “they seldom deworm or do not even deworm their children.”
The Executive Director said The Kill Worm Project was designed to give back to the society in the organisation’s little way by helping pupils and students in government-owned as well as privately-owned schools to get rid of worms that could interfere with these students’ academics and overall well-being. “We administer a broad spectrum anti-worm to the students orally to deal with any kind of worms. So far, it has been an amazing experience for our team and the project has been worth it because we have been receiving amazing results,” she informed.
Recalling the success of the first phase of the project, she said there were cases where some students expelled worms a day or two after being dewormed, sometimes through the mouth. “This shows how badly worms have been comfortably habiting their systems until they were disturbed to leave their comfort zones through the anti-worm administration,” she informed while explaining that worms are dangerous and should not be allowed to take comfort-zones in children’s bodies. Dr. Deola said the students were very participative and cooperative all through the period of the first phase and informed that Pretty Healthcare intends to make this project a continuous and sustained one as the company hopes to prevent as many worm infestation cases as possible and to see the children happy and healthy always.
Regular deworming, according to the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has been linked to adequate weight gain, increased school attendance and improved ability to learn in children. While many believe that worms are only associated with the stomach, Dr. Deola explained that there are several ways that worms can get into the human body. These include through eating contaminated foods as well as raw or poorly cooked meat of fish; through drinking of contaminated water; through skin penetration, especially of those people who walk barefooted; through insect bite; and so on.
Published in the Business Eye’s print version, September 2016 edition.
Featured Image Credit: The News