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 de-wormer, 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 Non-governmental 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.”