The Presidency, yesterday, announced that over five million pupils in 28,249 schools across 19 states of the federation were currently being fed under the government’s National Homegrown School Feeding, NHGSF, programme.
The beneficiary states so far are Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Imo, Jigawa Anambra, Enugu, Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Ebonyi, Zamfara, Delta, Abia, Benue, Plateau, Bauchi, Taraba, Niger and Kaduna. Katsina and Kano will soon be included in the list as well.
In a statement made in Abuja, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity noted that the goal was to tackle hunger and create jobs for Nigerians in accordance with the government’s inclusive growth plan.
Akande further said the school feeding programme was part of the administration’s N500 billion National Social Investment Programmes, NSIP, which has a target to feed 5.5 million school children by the end of 2017.
He added that over 50,000 cooks had been engaged under the programme.
However, he also noted that the Federal Ministry of Health was set to deliver an integrated deworming programme for pupils in all public primary schools classes 1 to 6 across 17 states currently under the NHGSFP.
According to Akande, a total of 243 local government areas will benefit from the deworming exercise in the 17 states, including Abia, Akwa Ibom, Enugu, Niger, Osun, Bauchi, Jigawa, Katsina, Zamfara, Anambra, Benue, Imo, Kano, Kaduna, Ebonyi, Delta and Plateau states.
The deworming programme which is scheduled to take place in the first and second week of December in these states will be channelled towards treating three different types of endemic disease which are schistosomiasis; soil-transmitted helminths and river blindness/onchocerciasis.
Akande also noted drugs to be distributed as, Albendazole, Ivermectin and Praziquantel.
To make this exercise a success, three facilitators will be within the states to ensure pupils are properly dewormed.