NAFDAC explains circumstances behind death of pupil in Ebonyi

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has dispelled claims that Jerome Nwome, a Nursery 2 pupil in Ebonyi State had died after allegedly ingesting a dewormer known as Albendazole.

The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide, on Friday 3rd January 2020 had petitioned the Federal Ministry of Health, Ebonyi State Governor, Davis Umahi and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control(NAFDAC), over the death the five-year-old pupil.

In a statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja, the agency’s Director General (DG)Prof. Christianah Mojisola Adeyeye explained that investigations conducted by the agency revealed that the Albendazole tablets used in Ebonyi State are officially donated to the Nigerian Government through the Federal Ministry of Health.

“The medicine is donated for use on the Federal Ministry of Health ongoing program on Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). The medicine is administered within a community by trained community drug distributors.

“The Albendazole tablets were administered to several children in Ndiegu Okpuitumo Community, including two (2) children in the same household as Jerome Nwome.

“Jerome Nwome, the deceased collected Albendazole tablets but refused to take the medicine in the presence of the trained community drug Distributors.

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“In the absence of the community drug distributors, the two (2) children in the same household as Jerome Nwome, held him by the throat and forced the medicine to his mouth without water. After taking the medicine without water, he coughed.

“They later gave him water to swallow the medicine and after swallowing the medicine, he staggered. In the process of staggering, he fell down and became unconscious. He was rushed to a health centre where he was confirmed dead,” she explained.

However, she said a sample of the batch of Albendazole tablets administered to the children in Ndiegu Okpuitumo Community was subjected to laboratory analysis stressing that the report of analysis established that the product complies with required specifications.

The Management of NAFDAC expresses sincere condolences to the family of Jerome Nwome and prayed to the Almighty God to grant the members of his family the fortitude to bear the loss.

“The members of the public are implored to remain calm and sustain their confidence in genuine medicines, healthcare professionals and Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) program. The public is also advised against drawing conclusions too soon and before evidence is gathered,” she added.

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