“God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.”
To have a firm knowledge of this topic, it is fitting we start off with the above quotes from the many wisdoms of an English writer and journalist, Rudyard Kipling. It will offer us the needed balance to appreciate the rare intervention in the basic health care concerns in our localities by the wife of Executive Governor of Enugu State Her Excellency, Mrs. Monica Ugwuanyi few days ago.
The first lady had invested fortune in humanitarian services through her Foundation — Ugochi Touch Of Life Foundation (UTOLF), and she is not spent yet. Her record-breaking donation of over 51,000 doses of anti-helminthic drugs more commonly called deworming tablets to school children across the 17 Local Government Areas of the state.
Parents who take good health care of their children and wards would appreciate this uncommon gesture more, considering how much they spend regularly in treating their kids from parasitic worm infestations.
For those who don’t know the import of the first Lady’s life-saving mission among our pupils, perhaps a brief rundown of the epidemiology and pathogenesis of parasitic worms in children would suffice.
A recent research published by American Society for Microbiology affirmed earlier data that soil-transmitted helminths affect over 1.5 billion people across the world. And the global public health strategy is regular deworming of children in endemic settings like Sub-Saharan Africa.
According WHO’s May 2019 bulletin, “soil-transmitted helminth infections are among the most common infections in humans, caused by a group of parasites commonly referred to as worms, including roundworms, whipworms and hookworms. Those living in poverty are most vulnerable to infection which can impair nutritional status by causing: internal bleeding which can also lead to loss of iron and anaemia; intestinal inflammation and obstruction;
diarrhoea; and impairment of nutrient intake, digestion and absorption.
Evidence shows that preventive chemotherapy, or the periodic large-scale administration of anthelminthic medicines to populations at risk, can dramatically reduce the burden of worms caused by soil-transmitted helminth infections.”
The World body also added that “preventive treatment is an important part of a comprehensive package to eliminate morbidity due to soil-transmitted helminths in at-risk populations.”
However, medical and health practitioners are unanimous in agreement that “long-term solutions to soil-transmitted helminth infections will need to address many factors, including improvements in water, sanitation and hygiene.” This was the core message of Her Excellency as she distributed the drugs with a team of health workers through out the state.
WHO recommends such preventive chemotherapy (deworming), using annual or biannual single-dose of albendazole (400 mg) or mebendazole (500 mg) as a public health intervention for all young children 12–23 months of age, preschool children 1–4 years of age, and school-age children 5–12 years of age (in some settings up to 14 years of age) living in areas where the baseline prevalence of any soil-transmitted infection is 20% or more among children, in order to reduce the worm burden of soil-transmitted helminth infection.
Mrs. Ugwuanyi by the counsel of health professionals in her entourage encouraged parents and guardians to keep the practice ongoing biannually as deworming can also boost the child’s immunity, help control infections and increase nutritional uptake. Worms are common problem not only occurring in kids but adults too.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s brand of governance continues to set unparalleled records across all facets. It can be likened to an armoured vessel shooting from all the barrels. His regime enfleshed the biblical injunction of “I am still working and my father is still working” (Jn. 5:17), in that while he is tirelessly in the field fulfilling campaign promises, his amiable wife is at the other end succouring hundreds of thousands of Ndi Enugu.
Mrs. Ugwuanyi has proven to be a mother that truly represents in empirical form, the nugget of Kipling in the opening quote of this piece, that women (mothers) are God’s vicars who help to extend His shepherdhood on mankind.
As we were raised to say whenever we finished eating, we greet our Mothers — “Thank Ma” we can only say Thank Ma to Her Excellency for her extraordinary show of tenderness to our children.
Enugu State is truly in the Hand of God!
Hon. Mrs. Bibian Anekwe
Senior Special Assistant ( SSA) on mobilization and empowerment to Enugu state Governor
ENUGU DI N’AKACHUKWU MOVEMENT (DG)