By Bassey Inyang
A free mass deworming of at least 600,000 children in Cross River State has commenced.
The exercise, which was formally flagged off on Tuesday at St Theresa Primary School New Netim, Odukpani Local Government Area, would run through a period of one month.
Deputy Governor of the state,Professor Evara Esu, who was represented by the State Commissioner for Education, Mr Goddy Etta,, flagged off the deworming exercise.
It is being conducted by the state government in conjunction with Evidence Action(EA).
Lead Representative of EA ,Nigeria, Dr. Ima Chima,who commented on the deworming exercise for schistomiasis and soil transmitted helminthes, told journalists that it was school-based with the target age bracket of 5 to 14.
She said the event would be conducted in 11 out of the 18 Local Government Areas of the state as the exercise had already commenced in what would have been the twelfth.
Chima stated that the school-based deworming has been scientifically researched and globally recognised as an effective health strategy.
Chima disclosed that it was the first time there mass deworming for such number of students would be conducted in the state.
She disclosed that adequate mobilisation has been done across the state to ensure the deworming project succeeds.
The State Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) Coordinator, Dr Hillary Adie, informed journalists: “These medicines are donated to us ane are given free of charge to all persons who should take them. The represetative of development partners especially USAID and Evidence Action who are supporting this initiative, we welcome you and thank the American people for supporting the state team to ensure success in control activities.
“We seek further assistance in the release of approved funds, provision of vehicles that will facilitate delivery of services to the remote parts of the state.”
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