5Million pupils get free meal in 19 states — Presidency

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5Million pupils get free meal in 19 states — Presidency

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ABUJA—THE Presidency, yesterday, stated that over five million pupils in 28,249 schools in 19 states of the federation were currently being fed under the government’s National Homegrown School Feeding, NHGSF, programme.

The states that have so far benefitted include Anambra, Enugu, Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Ebonyi, Zamfara, Delta, Abia, Benue, Plateau, Bauchi, Taraba, Kaduna, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Imo, Jigawa and Niger. Kano and Katsina states are expected to be added to the list in the coming weeks. Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, in a statement in Abuja, said the goal was to tackle hunger and create jobs for Nigerians in line with the government’s inclusive growth plan. Akande said over 50,000 cooks had been engaged under the programme.

According to him, the school feeding programme, which is part of the administration’s N500 billion National Social Investment Programmes, NSIP, has a target to feed 5.5 million school children by the end of 2017. Meanwhile, the School Feeding Programme is collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Health to deliver an integrated deworming programme for pupils in all public primary schools classes 1 to 6 across 17 states currently under the NHGSFP.

Akande said at least, 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 integrated programme, which is scheduled for the first and second week of December in these states, will deliver three different drugs for the treatment of diseases endemic to specific states; particularly schistosomiasis; soil-transmitted helminths and river blindness/onchocerciasis. The drugs to be distributed, according to him, are Albendazole, Ivermectin and Praziquantel.

Supported by the Federal Government, three facilitators would be within the states for the period to achieve these objectives and ensure that the pupils in these states are dewormed.