Ohanaeze youths pe­ti­tion NAFDAC over boy’s death

The Punch - - SATURDAY CITY ROUND - Ed­ward Nnachi, Abaka­liki

The lead­er­ship of the apex so­cio-cul­tural youth or­gan­i­sa­tion in Ig­boland, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Coun­cil World­wide, on Fri­day, pe­ti­tioned the Fed­eral Min­istry of Health, the Ebonyi State Gov­er­nor, David Umahi, and the Na­tional Foods, Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion and Con­trol, over the death of a five-year-old pupil, Jerome Nwome.

Lit­tle Nwome, who was un­til his death a Nurs­ery 2 pupil at im­mac­u­late Heart Con­cep­tion, in Ebonyi, died on Tues­day, after al­legedly in­gest­ing a de­wormer, known as Al­ben­da­zole.

The Igbo youth body added that it was nec­es­sary for the rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties to probe into the im­me­di­ate and re­mote cause of the boy’s death, say­ing fail­ure to do so would ex­pose other chil­dren in the coun­try to se­ri­ous health dan­ger.

The group stated this in a state­ment on Fri­day signed by its Pres­i­dent-gen­eral, Okechukwu Isi­gu­soro.

The group said “since there is a pos­si­ble pointer that the de-wormer was dis­trib­uted across the coun­try,” there was ur­gent need to ad­dress the sit­u­a­tion.

The OYC noted that it was wor­ri­some that most quack health work­ers were al­lowed to prac­tise with­out au­then­tic cer­ti­fi­ca­tion by rel­e­vant agen­cies across the coun­try, adding that the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment should equally em­bark a na­tion­wide mop up of all sub-stan­dard and un­ap­proved drugs in Nige­ria.

Urg­ing youths of the area to toe the path of peace, the youth also called on the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment to scru­ti­nise and sanc­tion the ac­tiv­i­ties of the Nongovern­men­tal Or­gan­i­sa­tion, Carter Cen­ter, that re­port­edly brought the drug (Al­ben­da­zole) into the coun­try.

The state­ment read in part, “The Ohanaeze Youth Coun­cil World­wide has waded into the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing the un­for­tu­nate demise of a five-year-old pupil of the im­mac­u­late Heart Con­cep­tion, Mas­ter Jerome Nwome, at Uwalakande, Okpoi­tumo Au­ton­o­mous Com­mu­nity, in the izzi Lo­cal gov­ern­ment Area of Ebonyi state.

“Lit­tle Nwome, re­port­edly died after some health work­ers from Of­fia Health Cen­tre ad­min­is­tered a de-wormer, called Al­ben­da­zole to him. it’s a sad moment in Ig­boland where fake and sub­stan­dard drugs are ad­min­is­tered with­out ap­proval by rel­e­vant agen­cies.

“We have of­fi­cially pe­ti­tioned gov­er­nor David Umahi of Ebonyi state, the Fed­eral Min­istry of Health and NAFDAC on the un­for­tu­nate in­ci­dent that claimed the life of the boy. We want in­ves­ti­ga­tion to be­gin in earnest to un­ravel the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing his death. We also want the iden­ti­ties of the Of­fia Health Cen­tre work­ers re­vealed in order to help re­veal the source of the de-wormer, Al­ben­da­zole. This is to fore­stall a re­cur­rence.”

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