The death of two students, Vivian Osuiniyi and Bithia Itulua has made the Lagos State Government to close down Queen’s College, Yaba, till a proper treatment of the water system in the school is done.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, said that a total of 1,222 pupils was at the school’s clinic on account of abdominal pain, fever, vomiting and diarrhoea.
He explained that 16 pupils were admitted in various hospitals, nine has been discharged, two dead, while one was still on admission at the Intensive Care Unit of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, and three in Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi Araba.
Idris said the source of the problem is the contaminated water. Water samples collected from the school showed high bacterial content. The bacteria ranged from Coliforms, Escherichia Coli, Salmonella, Klebsiella ozoana and Aeromonas hydrophila.
Specimens collected from 40 kitchen workers revealed that cysts of Entamoeba histolytica were isolated in the stool of 23 food handlers; Salmonella Paratyphi, the causative agent of Typhoid Fever, was also isolated from three food handlers.
A parent who blamed the Parent-Teacher Association for being discreet about the problem said to Punch,
“They sent text messages to parents, saying there was no epidemic. Things are happening and instead of us to do something, we are denying. Maybe if we had acted early enough, lives would have been saved. I paid N20,000 for the PTA levy to hire more sanitation workers and clean the water, and this is what we get? Somebody has to pay for this. You are a principal of a school and you couldn’t do anything? Do you know what it means to lose a child? Some parents are going through hell right now. I am crying. I am in pains. Until somebody sues Queen’s College, nobody will know what is going on,” he said.
Meanwhile, a social commentator and a delegator, Laila St. Matthew-Daniel claimed that the investigative panel set up by Federal Ministry of Education and the Lagos state government ignored the points made in the report.
She said they made these findings and reported it last year during a sexual assault investigation last year, despite their findings, nothing was done by the school management.
– overflowing sewage next to the cafeteria and kitchen, and two of the dormitories;
– the unhygenic area of food prep;
– the crowded dorms;
– Seeming water issues;
– the overflowing garbage dump next to one of the dorms; and
– general environmental chaos that could have disastrous consequences on the health, wellbeing, and ability of student to perform in their studies.