By Kemi Olatunde
The Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) programme previously under the Ondo Primary Health Care Development Agency ( OSPHCDA) has been disbanded while government has reconstituted and inaugurated a new committee .
Inaugurating members of the committee, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Pharm (Mrs) Folukemi Aladenola noted that the reconstitution of the standing committee was mandated by the Head of Service, Pastor Kayode Ogundele and the Commissioner for Health, Dr Banji Awolowo Ajaka to ensure smooth running of NTDs in the state, enhance proper coordination as well as bring in relevant agencies into the programme.
According to her, activities of the unit entails promotion of government policies through proper coordination to ensure implementation and integration of the programme so as to reduce the number of people suffering from the diseases in the state.
She stated that members of the committee were drawn from all the concerned ministries and agencies that are key to the treatment and reduction of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) in the state
While noting that it is the responsibility of Ministry of Health to coordinate all health related programmes even if the implementation would take place in other agencies of government, she congratulated the committee members and urged them to be passionate about the programme saying “the diseases affect the poorest of the poor in the society.”
Director Public Health, Ministry of Health, Dr Richard Adesoji noted that it was important for NTDs to start afresh for better coordination and impact stating that the diseases have become a menace in developing countries adding that their management cut across many agencies.
” For us to be able to manage NTDs properly in the state, there is the need to collaborate with all the concerned ministries and agencies that is why this committee is key.”
The National NTDs programme coordinator, Dr Nse Akpan who was represented by Mr Osuagwu Chidubini in his goodwill message said it was their duty to come into the state through the Ministry of Health and that they have come to do so and to also witness the inauguration of the state’ standing committee for NTDs.
Akpan pledged their unflinching support for the newly inaugurated standing committee.
The Programme Coordinator for NTDs in the state, (Mrs) Olanike Oladipupo while giving the overview of the programme said the four common endemic disease under NTDs in Ondo state are Onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, Filariasis and soil transmitted helminth adding that strategies have been put in place to control NTDs including case management, preventive chemotherapy,vector control, veterinary public health and provision of safe water sanitation and hygiene (WASH).
The standing committee members were drawn from the Ministry of Health, Primary Health care Devepment Agency, University of Medical Sciences, Hospitals management Board, Ministry of Water Resources, Sanitation and Hygiene, Ondo State Health Commodities and Management Agency and Ministry of Environment.
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