By Kemi Olatunde
Intensifying campaign against Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) is important to reduce poverty and poverty diseases in our land.
The Ondo State Commissioner for Health Dr Banji Ajaka stated this while addressing Journalists on the importance of NTD to the society
According to him, the NTD diseases were called neglected because little or no attentions were paid to them compared to other diseases like Lassa fever, Malaria, HIV, COVID-19, etc. yet they wreck havoc. by rendering victims incapacitated
Ajaka said those with elephantiasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, lymphatic Filariasis, Helminth etc can no longer work to earn a living thus subjecting them to live in abject poverty .
Speaking on while Akure South Local Government was chosen for year 2022 campaign, Dr Ajaka said although the mega campaign was in Akure, health workers were doing similar sensitizations simultaneously in other local governments of the state noting that in previous years mega campaign was held in other local governments to create awareness about the diseases
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary of Ondo State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Francis Akanbiemu said the diseases can cause permanent disability in their victims and therefore advised residents to report any strange occurrence in their body systems to health officials.
Akanbiemu said drugs were available at the health facilities across the state and they were given to people free once a year to treat NTD related diseases.
He advised residents to do environmental hygiene, avoid stagnant water, where there was no portable water, available water should be treated before use
In his speech, the Director Medical Services of Ondo State Primary Health care Development Agency Dr Paulinus Omode said the awareness campaign was to sensitize the people on how to prevent contracting the diseases
He used the forum to admonish residents of the state to be conscious of their health situations and visit health facilities for adequate health care.
Similarly the Assistant Programme Officer of Mission To Help The Helpless (MITOSATH), one of the supporting partners ,Mr Chidi Uche said the NTD day was being commemorated yearly to end Neglected Tropical Diseases in the society.
The major Neglected Tropical Diseases were onchocerciasis schistosomiasis lymphatic Filariasis, soil transmitted Helminth among others
The theme for year 2022 campaign is “Achieving Health Equity To End the Neglected Poverty Related Diseases”