Deworming Exercise Turns Fatal In Ogun As Two Pupils Die Of Adverse Drugs Reactions - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE



Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Deworming Exercise Turns Fatal In Ogun As Two Pupils Die Of Adverse Drugs Reactions

From Ayobami Ife, Abeokuta 

The commencement of the 2020 edition of the Ogun State Government  annual deworming exercise for over 700,000 school children in 14 Local Government Areas began on a sad note as two female pupils of St James African Church Nursery and Primary School, Idi - Ape, Abeokuta, died on Wednesday morning shortly after taking deworming drugs administered on them at the school by their teachers.

The two pupils - Omolaso Keyede, eight - year old primary two pupil, and Eniola Oyeyemi, aged 9, primary 4 pupil, allegedly  died from dehydration following hours of stooling and vomiting after taking the deworming drugs.

The Daily Crucible was told  that the two minors took the deworming drugs during school hours on Tuesday but fell ill in the evening with vomiting and stooling following.

The two live in the same neighborhood of Ademola Street, opposite African Church, Idiape, which is few metres away from the school.

It was learnt that one was rushed to Apata - Iye Clinic and Maternity Hospital, Odo Oyo, Abeokuta, where she died at about 3am on Wednesday while the other was also taken to same hospital some minutes later but was declared Brought In Dead(BID).

The deworming exercise that allegedly turned fatal to the two  pupils  touched off anger and speculations from Ademola street residents who alleged that the victims might have died from complications arising from the adverse effects of the drugs. 

However, a team from the State Ministry of Health led by the Director of Public Health, Dr Festus Soyinka, visited the victims' families to assess the situation.

It was learnt that one them, Keyede, had been buried even as 
her family resisted moves by the health officials to exhume the body for autopsy. 

The team, however, had access to the body of Eniola.

An Aunt to Keyede, Mrs Oluwatosi Nasiru, said the school management had been told before hand not to administer the medication on the little girl, but went ahead to administer the deworming drugs on her.

Mrs Nasiru said an unnamed teacher forced the girl to take the medication despite her resistance, noting that the victim had reacted to the drug in the evening and rushed to the hospital before she died on Wednesday morning.

"We all know how the drug react on individuals. So, I have warned that they should not administer medication on my child. We detailed someone to the school that they should not administer the drug on her.

"The pupil said she resisted but the teacher beat her and forced her to take the drug. She vomited the drug and the teacher forced her to take the drug the second time," she said.

She admitted that the family declined request by the state government officials to exhume the body, saying "it does not make any sense."

She  dismissed the allegations that the source of the death could be found  in a well( kanga in local parlance) within their compound which  was suspected to have been contaminated. 

Also speaking, the grandmother to Eniola, Fatimah Onanuga said the victim took the deworming drugs which proved fatal afterwards.

Madam Onanuga also dismissed the insinuations that the well within the compound was contaminated and might have been responsible for the illness that claimed the lives of the girls.

But Soyinka,an Epidemiologist, dismissed all speculations that the pupils died of complications arising from the medication administered on them.

He said the drugs were administered on over 200 pupils at the same school, but only the two from the same neighborhood had issues with it, adding that despite the unfortunate incidents, the deworming exercise would proceed in the state as planned.

Soyinka said:"What we have was a rumour about a child that died. On getting there we learnt that they are two. One had been buried before we got there, we could only see the grave site. The relation did not allow us to exhume.

"The reason why we wanted to exhume was that the one that had been buried, we brought a pathologist and doctors to see if there will be a need to do autopsy but on gross examination, we discovered that the child lost a lot of water which will not happen from just ordinary vomiting.

"Now, on getting to the hospital, the history that the grandmother gave was that the child came back vomiting, how many times did she vomit, she could not volunteer that information, but it looks to me as if it was several. 

"Now, even if you are going to vomiting from such drugs that they were using, it will be due to irritation of the system, it will not be continuous vomiting that will lead to dehydration. So that already made us to be suspicious of something. 

"The two children concerned are living in the same compound and no other person from the same school, about 235 students were given the same drugs yesterday (Tuesday) and no other person reported any challenge with taking the drugs. But for you to find two children in the same location, we should look for something else which could be transmittable and that could be infectious, that is why we are trying to look for the cause of the death.

"With what we have done, we have confirmed that with the child that has not been buried, we have discovered a sunken eyeballs, dried skin and lost of turgidity which shows loss of water. 

"On getting to the hospital, we were able to confirm that the child had history of diarrhea and vomiting. While he was with them here, there were five episodes of diarrhea. Appearance of the watery stool looks much like that of cholera which is one of the causes of gastrointestinal that kills fast. 

"The second child was brought here late and according to them, they had lost the child before they brought her here. That was why they got to the hospital and the hospital could not accept them because she was brought in dead."

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