Pandemonium: 18 Pupils Land in Hospital Over Alleged Food Poisoning

Parents and residents of Osogbo, the Osun State capital, were thrown into panic as 18 pupils from St. James Primary School B, Owo-Ope, were hospitalised due to food poisoning linked to the government’s free school feeding programme.

The Nation gathered that pupils of the school developed complications after eating rice and egg prepared for them by food vendor agents of the O’ Meal programme on Monday, December 11.

A parent of three pupils of the school named Iya Taye disclosed that her children returned home weak after vomiting and frequent stooling.

She confirmed that her children started experiencing discomfort after eating the food in school.

She alleged saboteurs in the school feeding programme, noting that the children were receiving treatment at home.

She said: “I have invited doctor to treat my children. Other parents took their children to hospital, but I have a doctor relation who helped me. My children are receiving treatment inside.”

A top source in the school confirmed that over 50 pupils were affected one way or the other in the food poisoning.

He said 18 of the of pupils were hospitalised, adding that government had intervened in the matter.

Meanwhile, the Osun State government, through the Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Kolapo Alimi, ordered full investigations into the reported cases of food poisoning.

He said the matter had been reported to the government by the Special Adviser on O-Meal, Mrs Grace Oluwaseyi Ayodele.

He noted: “The governor directed stoppage of further food cooking at the affected school, pending the outcome of the investigations. The affected cooks in the said schools alongside the planning officer for the O-Meal programme have also been summoned to a meeting by Tuesday morning.

“The governor has directed enforcement of food standard and control as well as the auditing of the O-Meal structure to forestall future occurrence.

“The government is settling the medical bills of the affected students as narrated by the Chairman of the Local Government Education Authority, Mr Nathaniel Ojetola. The LGEA Chairman who was at the fore-front of the intervention efforts disclosed that a total number of 18 students were treated and discharged.

“The total student population of the school is two hundred while one hundred and three are within the population receiving food from the O-Meal Programme. A government delegation is also visiting families of the affected students.“