Twelve students of Ginger International Secondary School, located in Hausa quarters Abakaliki, Ebonyi state capital, have been hospitalised after receiving immunisation by officials of the state Ministry of Health in conjunction with Carter Foundation.
The sample of the drugs had been collected and sent to the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, for analysis, according to authorities.
Ten of the students are Igbos while two are Hausas.
While 10 of the students were receiving treatment at the emergency ward of the Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki, two others were in a clinic belonging to the state Police Command as at press time.
Parents and relatives of the students who were anxious to ascertain the health condition of the students were seen trooping into the hospital in their numbers.
The controversial drugs was said to be anti-hermetic tablets, which health experts say are for deworming treatment and were administered on the students who are aged between 12 and 15.
One of the victims’ parents, Mrs. Bilkisu Ahmed, in an interview alleged that the drugs were imposed on her daughter by the school authorities.
Another parent, Elder Sam Igwe alleged that the administration of the drugs on his child was done without his consent.
The Chief Medical Director of the Hospital, Dr. Emeka Onwe who said that sample of the drugs had been collected and sent to the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, for analysis, added that the condition of the affected students was improving.
Reacting, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Daniel Umezuruike, who gave the name of the drugs as daisy Quintain and Metizan said they are given prophylactically for the treatment of schyzostamisis.
The Commissioner said the drugs were donated by one of the state’s development partners, Carter Foundation, a foundation he said has been assisting a lot in eradicating diseases in the state.
“They are dependable partners and have been at the forefront of eradicating guinea worm in the state. These drugs are giving intermittently to treat and help in eradicating some diseases. It is also a de-worming tablets used in de-worming students across the state. We are assuring everybody that the health of our people is assured,” he said.
Dr Umezurike noted that the side effect witnessed by the students after taking the drugs was because they did not eat before they were administered the drugs.
But the state Commissioner for Education, Professor John Eke in his reaction described the incident as embarrassing but noted that the State government would come up with a policy that would make it mandatory for school managements to secure the permission of the Ministry before administering drugs on students and pupils.
Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer of the State Command, DSP George Okafor said the Proprietor and the Head of the School had been taken to custody for interrogation.
An effort to get the reaction of the School Proprietor of the school failed as a man who claimed to be a Police detective who accompanied him to the Hospital to see the victims denied our Correspondent access claiming he was under his custody.

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