Stakeholders Galvanize Support to End NTDs

As the 2021 World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day is being commemorated, stakeholders advocate collective efforts to its end.

Neglected Tropical Diseases, NTDs, impose significant health, social  and economic burden on over a billion people across the world in terms of direct health costs, loss of productivity and reduced socioeconomic and educational attainment.

To this end, Commissioner for Health in Oyo State, Dr Bashir Bello called on Nigerians to collectively fight the disease.

Noting that some of the NTDs are endemic in Oyo State, Dr Bello said they could lead to disability, stigmatization and even death if left untreated.

Executive Secretary, Oyo State Primary Health Care Development Board, Dr Muideen Olatunji said Onchocerciasis, which is transmitted through the bite of a female black fly is endemic in twenty eight local government areas; Lymphatic Filariasis, transmitted through exposure to the bite of an infected mosquito (Culex, anopheles or Aedes) in ten  LGAs; Schistosomiasis, which can be gotten from contaminated water in twenty eight local government areas and Soil Transmitted Helminths, contacted through injection of contaminated food, water and Soil is endemic in all the thirty three local government areas of the state.

The good news, however, according to the executive secretary is that drugs are available and are distributed by government in the affected local government with support from Evidence Action.

Commissioner for Education, Barrister Olasunkanmi Olaleye represented by Director, Schools, Mrs  Christianah Bolaji  said time was now to end NTDs as they interfere with nutrient uptake in children leading to anaemia, malnourishment and impairment of mental and physical development.

He pointed out that Oyo State School Deworming programme had conducted five rounds of treatment for intestinal worms in both public and private schools in the state during which children from ages five to fourteen were given drugs free of charge.

Anthonia Akanji

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