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2027: We’ll eradicate Neglected Tropical Diseases–Ondo govt

By Kemi Olatunde

Ondo State Government is on the move to eradicate at least two of the seven endemic Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) in the state in 2027 as against the 2030 Global roadmap for NTDs elimination and eradication.

Major NTDs in Nigeria includes; Onchocerciasis, Lymphatic Flariasis, Schistosomiasis, Soil Transmitted Helminthiasis, Trachoma, Snake bite, Yaws, Human Africa Trypanosomiasis, Buruli Ulcer, Leprosy and Guinea worm disease among others.

Permanent Secretary, Ondo State Primary Health Care Development Agency (OSPHCDA), Dr. Francis Akanbiemu disclosed this today during a media advocacy and engagement in celebration of the World NTDs day in Akure.

According to him, government has put measures in place to ensure that residents are protected against the diseases noting that NTDs cause devastating impacts on their victims.

While calling on stakeholders especially the media to assist in sensitising the public, he revealed that the state is setting the pace in Nigeria in the construction of NTDs clinic which according to him should be ready by June, 2023.

The clinic according to him will provide the platform for patients to seek medical care intervention.

Director, Medical Services, Dr. Paulinus Omode in his opening remarks stressed the need for the media to get involved in NTDs’ eradication describing media advocacy as a new approach in health sector activities to create public awareness, education and change people’s orientation on public policy.

He described the movement from red to yellow code in latest Onchocerciasis coding as a result of the epidemiology evaluation conducted in the state in 2019, as one of the greatest achievements in NTDs.

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In his goodwill message, State Coordinator, World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Dele Davies described government of the state as a pacesetter in response to health challenges of residents and commended it for the construction of the NTD clinic.

While speaking further, he pledge more support to government in health interventions.

Chairman, State Advisory Committee on NTDs, Prof Mobolanle Oniya who noted that guinea disease was eradicated in Nigeria in 2015 noted that both Federal and state governments( FG and ODSG) are putting in place measures to eliminate these diseases.

According to him, while FG is ensuring good quality health care, ODSG has been rolling out control measures to endemic areas after all local government areas have been mapped out.

Representative of a partner, MITHOSATH, Mrs Janet Bamiduro stated that the organisation has organised free hydrocith surgery adding that it will soon commence the second batch at no cost.

She urged those in need of the surgery to register at the various PHC centres in the state.

Program Officer, Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Ogamba Paul noted that about 90 percent of NTDs are WASH related calling for collaboration between OSPHCDA and RUWASSA.

Also speaking, NTDs Data Manager, Mr. Adejuwon Akinloye said that described the administration of safe and effective medicines, integration of WASH, education of risk populated areas, veterinary public health measures and intensified and innovative disease management as the control strategies for NTDs according to WHO.

He, however, added that 165 million Nigerians need treatment for one or more NTD.

State Coordinator, NTD, Mrs Olufunke Ajomole while speaking with The Hope described the celebration as the fourth in the state noting that the state has been conducting control activities to reduce prevalence of the diseases in the state adding that there has been an improvement in the public with the NTD day especially with partners’ support.

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Earlier, there was a road walk to create awareness on NTDs in Akure.

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