Bennett launches war on nits
Russell School is on the frontline of a newly waged war against nits.
A head lice treatment programme was launched last Thursday at the school.
Pupils and whanau will be able to receive free treatment in a hairdresser-style chair that has been installed on site.
Minister of Social Development Paula Bennett was the first to try out the new chair. She had her hair washed with lice treatment when she visited the school to launch the initiative.
She said nits were not only a low-decile problem and that she had suffered from them as a child.
‘‘I’ve been scratching all day just thinking about them,’’ she said.
But cost is a major barrier for some families beating the scalpmarauding scoundrels, with treatment typically costing about $30.
Principal Sose Annandale said NitBusters would mean pupils could concentrate on learning and not be distracted by itchy heads.
It also meant those whose heads otherwise might have been shaved would not have to suffer embarrassment.
NitBusters is run by charity KidsCan, which already provides food, coats, shoes and hats to Russell School pupils.
It will be rolled out in 117 lowdecile schools throughout New Zealand, offering treatment to more than 24,000 pupils.
The Ministry of Social Development has earmarked nearly $1 million for NitBusters.
Returning the favour: Minister of Social Development Paula Bennett washes 8-year-old Eli Blackshaw’s hair after having her own treated for head lice.