Two public primary schoolchildren have allegedly died from complications in the ongoing deworming exercise embarked upon by the Ogun State Government.
According to reports, the pupils developed reactions after being administered with the deworming drug where the state government targeted about 700,000 pupils from fourteen endemic local government areas of the state
The duo – Omolaso Keyede (aged 8, primary two) and Eniola Oyeyemi (aged 9, primary 4) who were pupils of St James African Church Nursery and Primary School, Idi – Ape, Abeokuta, died after reported hours of stooling and vomiting.
It was gathered that they had taken deworming drugs during the school hours on Tuesday only to fall ill in the evening.
One of the pupils was rushed to a private hospital, Apata – Iye Clinic and Maternity Hospital, Odo Oyo, in the state capital where she was confirmed dead while the second pupil was equally taken to same hospital few minutes later and was declared dead on arrival.
The pupils hailed from the same neighborhood at Ademola Street, opposite African Church, Idiape, which is a stone-thrown from the school they attended.
This development has sparked off speculations that the deaths may have been as a result of the administration of the drug, a situation the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Tomi Coker has dismissed saying that the drug is not poisonous.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker, who made this known in the wake of the news making rounds that two school children in Abeokuta died from complications occasioned by the drugs, said the same drug was administered on her alongside other top government functionaries at the flag-off of the exercise.
According to the commissioner, the drug was administered on over 200 pupils at same school, but only the two from the same neighborhood were affected.
“The deworming drugs being administered on school-age children in 14 local government areas in the state are in no way poisonous,” she said.
Coker explained that the drugs were administered to 249 pupils of the school out of which two children who lived within the same compound were said to be stooling and vomiting on getting home, saying that these signs were not part of the symptoms of side effects if the deworming drugs
“It was discovered that the episode of Gastro enteritis suffered by the two children suggests a possible water borne disease, cholera.
“Investigation led by the Ogun State Commissioner for Health along with officials of the Federal Ministry of Health and Abeokuta South Local Government, revealed that the children died of severe case of vomiting and diarrhea.
“The government in its bid to stop the spread has put in place community sensitisation and advocacy. We have sent Cholera alert to all health facilities in the state and engaged in prepositioning of materials for case management in government hospitals,” Coker noted.