Expectations of Parents and Students of Queens College, Lagos to have the College reopen for academic studies have again been dashed as Lagos State Government says it is not yet satisfied with the water situation in the School.
Government also said it will be conducting a fresh medical examination and further treatment on all the students who were sick in the aftermath of the health crisis that shook the College.
A similar medical checks and further treatment of all the food handlers working in the school will equally be carried out and only a satisfactory result will determine when the School will be reopened.
Commissioner for Health Dr Jide Idris at a news briefing this evening regretted that efforts to decontaminate the only approved source of water for the School community, have so far not met with the required satisfaction just as some of the students who had recovered are reportedly falling sick all over again and are back in the hospital.
Said Idris, “Available records show that 40 cases were admitted in various public and private hospitals, 37 cases were discharged after full recovery, while we unfortunately lost three students; however, due to the multimicrobial nature of the disease occurrence, sporadic cases might still be expected”, he warned.
According to Dr Idris, after the outbreak of the water borne diseases in the School, “The school authority in collaboration with Parents, Teachers Association (PTA), Old Girls Association and Federal Ministry of Education is speedily addressing identified areas of lapses.
“The interventions include, decommissioning of the multiple contaminated water sources, deployment of a single water source with water treatment, renovation of the dining hall, decontamination of the hostels, overhauling of the sewage system and clearance of the septic tanks and testing and re-testing of water sources is currently ongoing in line with international best practices and as soon as the results are satisfactory, the school will be certified fit for reopening”, said Idris.
The Commissioner however noted that after the decontamination exercise was carried out on the only approved water source, samples of water taken from its different points by State health officials still show presence of various organisms and bacteria that are harmful to humans.
“It is pertinent to state that water samples from the only one of the multiple water delivery points still poses concern with regards to safety and portability and this is being addressed.
“To be specific, water samples from the delivery points to Junior and Senior Students hostels conform to official specifications, while there is need for additional decontamination of the reticulation to the kitchen and sick bay”, said Idris.
Explaining he said, “After the School authority and PTA had instituted the various measures we recommended, our officials went back to take some samples of the water.
“Out of the five points (from the main water source), three were satisfactory to us apart from two points we weren’t satisfied with. This is because there are specific things we are looking for in the water, an acceptable level of which anything short, is unacceptable in line with global standards.
“And for as long as we have that situation, it means that the students are still not safe and that is why we cannot recommend the reopening of the School”, the Commissioner noted.
The Health Commissioner also pointed out that in the course of investigating what went wrong with the School water system, it was discovered that most of the pipes that run through the School are old and corroded and would require to be changed.
He said a tripartite meeting with the School Management, PTA and Old Girls Association was able to reach an agreement on the remaining areas to focus attention on within one week when it would meet for another review.