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Osun Joins fight against tropical diseases

By Michael Ofulue, Osogbo

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Osun State has joined over 250 global civil societies, advocates, world leaders, health experts, and policymakers to launch a pivotal year in the fight against Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), in commemoration of the year 2024 World NTD Day.

Commissioner for Health, Jola Akintola shared this during a press conference held in the Conference Hall of the Ministry of Health, Osogbo.

He said that the new year World NTD Day is themed, “Unite, Act, and Eliminate NTDs”,

The Commissioner explained that NTDs are a diverse group of communicable diseases affecting over one billion people in the world’s most marginalized communities across 149 countries, as declared by the World Health Organisation.

The Health Commissioner recalled that based on a 2014 state-wide epidemiological evaluation, Osun State has identified 27 out of its 30 local government areas as endemic for schistosomiasis and filariasis, and 28 areas for soil-transmitted helminths.

He appreciated the collaborative support from resident partner, AMEN Health Care Foundation, and the State Government in conducting regular mass administration of medicine, including preventive chemotherapy NTD medicines, for the control and elimination of Onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis, Schistosomiasis, and soil-transmitted helminths in all endemic local government areas of the State.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Health, Dr Akindele Adekunle, emphasized the need for collective action to eliminate NTDs, advocating extending sensitization efforts beyond press briefings to reach grassroots communities.

The Special Adviser on the Primary Health Care Development Board, Dr Micheal Oyerinde, highlighted the significance of NTD Day globally.

Chairman, Primary Health Care Development Board, Mr. Tajudeen Tejuade Adisa, expressed excitement about the preventability, treatability, and elimination of NTDs, soliciting the Commissioner’s support for unified health sector efforts against NTDs.

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Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr Isiaka Adekunle, called for wider sensitization across all local government areas for NTDs elimination in the State.

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