Group commends Federal Government for pledges to end NTDs – The Sun Nigeria

From Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja

International development organization Sightsavers has commended the Federal government for its pledges to end the scourge of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).

Sunday Isiyaku, Nigeria Country Director at Sightsavers, in a statement released to journalists in Abuja stressed that Nigeria has the biggest burdens from neglected tropical diseases across Africa and needed strong leadership to banish them.

He added that Nigeria has made great strides in the fight against these diseases with support from Sightsavers and partners. Five states have already interrupted transmission of river blindness and more are close. We must make sure that new challenges such as COVID-19 and climate change don’t threaten progress.

“Treatment and prevention for NTDs need to be integrated into the health system and pressure must be kept up even as the country gets closer to elimination. The government’s pledge recognizes that access to clean water, hygiene and good sanitation are fundamental to stopping the spread of NTDs. Achieving this will require people from different parts of our health sector to work together and with others – such as the people responsible for planning infrastructure.

“Sightsavers has supported NTD interventions in Nigeria for nearly three decades, starting with river blindness in 1994, and now includes lymphatic filariasis (LF), schistosomiasis, trachoma, and intestinal worms into its programs. This includes supporting community volunteers to go door-to-door to make sure that no one misses drug treatments, surgery for advanced trachoma and hydrocele (caused by LF), as well as surveys and surveillance.

“NTD treatments transform lives

Significant global progress has been made since the last global summit on NTDs which led to the 2012 London Declaration on NTDs. 600 million people across the world are now no longer at risk from neglected tropical diseases.

At the Kigali Summit on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases, on 23 June, and during the signing of the Kigali Declaration on neglected tropical diseases earlier this year, the government pledged to: Increase funding and resources across the country to support the elimination of NTDs. Strengthen collaboration, especially for water, sanitation, and hygiene initiatives (WASH).

More than 165 million people in Nigeria are at risk from diseases of poverty including trachoma, lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis, intestinal worms, and river blindness. These diseases cause excruciating pain, sometimes kill, stop children from learning and adults from earning, and trap communities in cycles of poverty.

Comments are closed.