The Lagos deputy governor flagged off the exercise.
The Lagos State Government on Wednesday began the 2013 mass de-worming of public primary school pupils to prevent the devastating effects of worms on the growth of children.
The Lagos State Deputy Governor, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, flagged off the exercise at St. Francis Primary School, Maryland, Lagos.
She said that the state government became more passionate about the exercise because of the negative effects of worm infestation.
“Medical practitioners have affirmed that a child that is not properly protected against worm infection, which results largely from the child’s personal hygiene, will suffer health challenges.
“These health problems include severe diarrhea, aneamia, low immunity against diseases and life threatening intestinal obstruction,” she said.
Ms. Orelope-Adefulire said that a child faced with such health problems would find it difficult to cope with learning due to frequent absenteeism and deficiency in mental development.
“It is, therefore, very important that every child is given a dose of worm expeller,” she said.
The deputy governor said that children’s oral health care was also important.
“The care of the mouth is very important and our consciousness of good health should develop from our awareness of better oral care and protection.
“We discovered in the course of our last de-worming exercise that parents are not paying attention to their children’s oral health.
“We observed cases of tooth decay, mouth odour and teeth that have become coloured,” she said.
Ms. Orelope-Adefulire urged parents to show more commitment to the healthy growth of their children by bringing them up in a clean and healthy environment.
“Teach them to brush their teeth, at least, twice in a day; bathe them and cut their nails.
“Teachers should also complement parents’ efforts by ensuring that they check their pupils’ teeth,” she said.
She gave the assurance that the state government would continue to implement programmes and policies that would help to achieve good health for its residents.
The Chairman, Kosofe Local Government Area, Babatunde Sofola, said that the de-worming was strategic.
“It is designed to keep our children free of parasitic worms, which are causes of ailments and diseases that could be detrimental to their physical and healthy growth,” Mr. Sofola said.
He said that the exercise showed that the state government placed a high premium on the development of children and youth.