Owerri - A medical doctor, Dr Sam Madugba, has
advised government at all levels to broaden healthcare delivery
services to accommodate school children at all levels of education.
Madugba, the Director and State Coordinator of School Health Services
Programme (SHSP), Ministry of Health, Imo, gave the advice in Owerri on
He spoke on “Proper Establishment of School Health Services
Programme, Adequate Funding and Recommendation for its Inclusion as a
Component of the Primary Healthcare Delivery System of Nigeria.”
Madugba said that the programme was designed for children in primary
and secondary schools as well as tertiary institutions, who were grossly
The director said that this aspect of healthcare did not feature in
the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency programmes.
He said that school children faced many health hazards, ranging from
environmental challenges, such as poor sanitary facilities, the lack of
potable water, refuse littering and bushy environment.
Madugba said such conditions gave rise to diseases, such as malaria,
gastroenteritis, worm infestation, scabies, body odour, among others,
which could be deadly if not well handled.
He said that reduction of child mortality, combating HIV/AIDS,
malaria and other diseases as well as environmental sustainability were
three of the child-friendly goals of the Millennium Development Goals.
"Unfortunately, focus has remained on the neonates and the under-5
health initiatives like Maternal, Neonatal and Childhood Health (MNCH)
programmes,” he said.
Madugba urged the Imo Government to adopt the SHSP approach as a
veritable strategy to reach children of six years and above in the
provision of essential health services.
He said a well organised SHSP should include health education of
school children and staff, environmental sanitation/inspection of water,
latrine, housing, ventilation and lighting.
Florence Eziama, the Director, Primary Healthcare Coordinator in
Ehime Mbano Local Government, said prevention of maternal, neonatal and
childhood death and health education could improve healthcare delivery.