Chevron Nigeria Limited seems to be thinking beyond crude oil exploration in Nigeria when it reiterated its commitment to deworm over 60,000 pupils between the age brackets of six and 12 years.
The company commenced the initiative in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State with the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended ‘Albendazole (Zentel)’ drug at the Mass De-worming Campaign in Lagos last week.
Speaking at the deworming exercise, the General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs (PGPA), Deji Haastrup, said Chevron Nigeria Limited would de-worm over 60,000 primary school pupils in Eti-Osa local government area with the WHO recommended Albendazole drug regarded as the most potent for parasitic worms.
Haastrup said that the launching of the de-worming exercise was part of the company’s health programme of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) aimed at ensuring a healthy society, adding that it is essential for the children because it protects them against disease.
“Research has shown that children that are not regularly dewormed are prone to loss of iron and protein, and this can lead to stunted growth,” he said.
He said the sponsorship of the deworming exercise reflects the company’s long term commitment to investing in health, education and economic development initiatives that help build strong communities.
“It supports Chevron’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, which are grounded in our commitment to be the global energy company most admired for its people, partnership and performance. That is the reason we take our responsibility very seriously to support the people in our immediate communities and try to serve as an agent of positive change among them.
“Everywhere Chevron operates across the globe, we always strive to be a welcome member of the community, forging partnerships that support economic and social development of the people. These various supports are in alignment with Chevron’s commitment to conducting its business here in Nigeria in a socially responsible manner; adding value to the lives of the people and contributing positively to the socio-economic development of Nigeria.
“This deworming exercise we are launching today, the second time in Lagos in the past five years, is part of our health programme aimed at ensuring a healthy society. Deworming our children is essential because it protects them against diseases. Also, research has shown that children that are not regularly dewormed are prone to loss of iron and protein, and this can lead to stunted growth.
“A healthy population is a prerequisite for socio-economic development of any nation. As a testament to our commitment to a healthy population, we have conducted this exercise to other states in the past years – deworming over 500, 000 children in Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta, Ondo, Lagos and Imo.
“Our target for this year is to deworm at least 60, 000 pupils from various primary schools in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State – using the WHO recommended Albendazole (Zentel), which is acclaimed to be one the most potent drugs in the treatment of parasitic worms especially in kids.
“Apart from the mass deworming programme, our other social investment in health in Lagos include the provision of health centre at St. Kizito Clinic in Lekki, to control and eradicate tuberculosis and other infections common to HIV/AIDS patients; donation of medical waste incinerator to Epe General Hospital; HIV/AIDS testing campaign in Badagry and mass de-worming exercise for school children in Alimosho, Kosofe, Ikorodu, Epe, Eti-osa and Ibeju Lekki Local Government Areas (LGAs) respectively,” he said.
The company has also executed Roll Back Malaria (RBM) awareness campaign in Ojo, Oshodi, Ikeja Epe and Ibeju-Lekki LGAs, and donated a molecular biology research laboratory to the University of Lagos Teaching Hospital (LUTH), the first in Nigeria to lift the learning and practice of medicine in the country.
Representing the GMD, NAPIMS, Dafe Sajebo, the Deputy Manager, Community Relations, NNPC/NAPIMS, Clementina Arubi, admonished the children to see the initiative of De-worming as an opportunity for sound health.
She said that NNPC would continue to work with Chevron to ensure good health for the children and see to the fact that associated illnesses are prevented because healthy children make healthy nation.
The Medical Officer of Health, Eti-Osa Local Government, Dr Oladapo Asiyanbi, revealed that majority of worms are from contaminated fruits and foods, and hence charged children to always wash their fruits before eating and also wash their hands before and after eating food.