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ODSG partners MITOSATH to tackle NTD

From Kayode Olabanji, Okitipupa

The Ondo State Primary Health Care Development Agency (OSPHCDA) in partnership with Mission To Save The Helpless (MITOSATH) has flagged off free surgery for people suffering from Neglected Tropical Diseases, NTD, in the Ondo South senatorial district.

The programme which was flagged off by the State Commissioner For Health, Dr. Banji Awolowo Ajaka, held at the State Specialist Hospital, Okitipupa was said to be the second phase of free mass hydrocelectomy to be conducted in Ondo State for hydrocele cases arising from Lymphatic filariasis.

Dr. Ajaka, noted that the government of Oluwarotimi Akeredolu is determined to ensure healthy living for her citizens, and the realisation of the global goals of NTDs elimination through partnership with Mission to Save the Helpless, (MITOSATH).

He said the state has recorded tremendous achievements in eliminating this disease in the state.

He, therefore, commended the management of the OSPHCDA and the Ministry of Health for their strong commitment to the realisation of the government agenda in health sector.

He also appreciated the partner in progress, MITOSATH for regularly providing the needed financial support for NTDs elimination activities in the state.

According to him, ” Lymphatic filariasis, commonly known as elephantiasis, is a neglected tropical disease which usually occurs when filarial parasites are transmitted to humans through mosquitoes. The infection is usually acquired in childhood causing hidden damage to the lymphatic system”.

“The painful and profoundly disfiguring visible manifestation of the disease, lymphoedema, elephantiasis, and scrotal swelling occur later in life and can lead to permanent disability. These patients are not only physically disabled they suffer mental, social, and financial losses contributing to stigma and poverty,” Dr. Ajaka emphasized.

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He encouraged the people of the Ondo South Senatorial district to make use of the great opportunity to troop out en-mass to participate and also to inform others in their community about the program which will last for seven (7) days in Okitipupa, so that the effort of the government in ensuring that no member of the state has to continue to suffer from this debilitating and stigmatizing disease, will not be in vain.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, OSPHCDA, Dr. Francis Akanbiemu who was represented by the Director of Medical Services, Dr. Paulinus Kunle Omode, commended the state government under the leadership of Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN, CON for alleviating the suffering of the people and promoting their wellbeing especially those with hydrocele resulting from lymphatic filariasis, through the free surgical intervention. While appreciating the Hon. Commissioner for Health, Dr. Banji Awolowo Ajaka for providing the needed enabling environment and support for the implementation of the programme, he stated that more than 100 people will benefit from the free surgery.

He advised all participants to be agents of change for NTDs case management and preach the “gospel” to the people in their communities to make them benefit from the programme. He admonished the residents not to hide their ailments.

The Executive Director, of MITOSATH, Dr. (Mrs) Francisca Olamiju, disclosed that the surgery will commence immediately after necessary screening has been done.

She said her Organisation will support as many cases that presented and eligible for surgery and that “Whoever is participating in the surgery would be watched over for some days in the hospital before discharge,” she said.

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In his Speech, the South West Zonal Coordinator for NTDs under the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Olusola Ogunmola, acknowledged the effort of MITOSATH, and the Ondo state government for the control and elimination of NTDs in the state.

He sought support from political leaders, community leaders and philanthropist to provide psychological and socio economical support for the people with disabling condition conditions to ensure that they have equal access to rehabilitation services, education and income, which including; promoting positive attitudes toward the people with disabilities, preventing the cause of disabilities and others.

Earlier, Dr. Akin Adejuwon, the State NTD data manager, enlightened the participants on NTDs and the need for safeguarding.

He added that the medical personnel is always in the town to give the citizens the annual drugs during Mass Administration of Medicines (MAM), which will protect them from such diseases. He advised them to participate in the programme and adhere to the instructions given by the health workers

Present at the event are, the Abodi of Ikale land, Oba Babatunde Faduyile, the Jegun of Idepe Oba, Michael Obatuga, the Executive Chairman of Okitipupa, Mr. Igbekele Akinrinwa, CAN Chairman of Okitipupa Pastor Peter Akinyelure,
Director of Medical Services Hospitals’ Management Board, Dr. Adiji, PHC Coordinators from the district, Chief Medical Director of State Specialist Hospital Okitipupa, Dr. Ayenimelo, amongst others.

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