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Doctor wants health services to accommodate school children

01 October 2013, 18:30

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 Wednesday.

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 neglected.

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.



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