By Iyabo Adebisi
Oyo State Commissioner for Health, Dr Oluwaserimi Ajetunmobi says Neglected Tropical Diseases, NTDs can be managed urging persons infectected with the diseases to access treatment rather than hiding it.
She stated this while briefing journalists on the 2024 World NTDs Day held at the ministry’s conference room Secretariat, Ibadan.
NTDs largely found in Tropical areas of the world include leprosy, guinea worm, elephantiasis, rabies, and Dengue fever.
Dr Ajetunmobi who Identified the major challeges facing the state in tacklinig the NTDs to include Ignorance and attitudinal problem in reporting the disease said government would intensify awareness on Neglected Tropical Diseases
The Commissioner who noted that, NTDs diseases if left untreated could result into disability or stigmatization, enjoined stakeholders to synergise towards eradicating it.
Executive Secretary of Oyo State Primary Health Care Board, Dr. Muideen Babatunde Olatunji, said that, 142 cases of Lymphatic Filariasis, also known as Elephantiasis were recorded in the state in the last one year explaining that the affected persons had been treated.
He added that, 10 surgical interventions had been carried out while no fewer than 1.6 million school children had been vaccinated to prevent cases of neglected tropical diseases in the state.
The diseases according to him are Soil Transmitted Helminths, Schistosomiasis, Lymphatic filariasis and Onchocerciasis.
He said, “They are called neglected tropical diseases because only few people pay attention to them. They are not caused by witches, they can be managed.
“We have recorded 142 cases of Lymphatic filariasis also known as Elephantiasis, 9 cases of Onchocerciasis, we have done 10 surgical intervention. Mass drug have been provided for 1.6 million school across the state.
“According to a survey conducted by FMOH, four of these NTDs are endemic in the state – Soil Transmitted Helminths, Schistosomiasis, Lymphatic filariasis and Onchocerciasis.
“The diseases are distributed across the state as follows: 28 LGAs are Oncho endemic, 10 are FL endemic, 30 are SCH endemic and 33 are STH endemic. These NTDs are treated with safe and effective drugs that are distributed once each year.”
The theme of this year’s event is “Unite to Act Towards Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases” .