Adeleke summons cook after 18 pupils hospitalised from free school meal

THE Osun State government has commenced an investigation into an incident involving about 18 pupils from James Primary School B, Osogbo, who took ill after consuming a mid-day meal provided under the state’s free school feeding programme.

This was contained in a statement by the state  Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Kolapo Alimi, on Tuesday, December 12.

The incident, which occurred on Monday, prompted widespread concern, particularly among parents who shared videos of their children on hospital beds on social media.

In one of the videos seen by The ICIR, three victims were seen receiving intravenous treatment.

One affected student narrated that they were served rice with egg, after which they experienced digestive issues.

Mothers of the victims expressed concerns about the food quality, noting a foul smell from the eggs when their children returned home from school on Monday.

Alimi said the state Governor, Ademola Adeleke, had also directed that further food cooking be stopped at the affected school pending the outcome of the investigations.

“Osun state Government has ordered full investigations into the reported cases of food poisoning at St James primary School B, Owoope Osogbo.



    “The state Governor, Senator Ademola Adeleke, directed immediate action when the matter was reported to him by the special adviser on O-Meal, Mrs Grace Ayodele. The Governor has subsequently directed the stoppage of further food cooking at the affected school pending the outcome of the investigations,” the statement read in part.

    The Commissioner further said Adeleke had summoned the affected cooks and the planning officer for the O-Meal programme to a meeting while also calling for the enforcement of food standards and control and an audit of the O-Meal structure to prevent future occurrences.

    “Meanwhile, 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 forefront of the intervention efforts disclosed that a total number of 18 students were treated and discharged.

    “The total student population of the school is 200, while 103 are within the population receiving food from the O-Meal Programme. A government delegation is also visiting families of the affected students,” Alimi said.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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