Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

Nigeria Records Progress In NTDs Elimination, says Health Minister

By Africaprimenews

By Justina Auta

The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Ali Pate, says Nigeria has recorded remarkable progress in the prevention, treatment and elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).

He made this known during a news conference to mark the 2024 World NTDs Day in Abuja on Tuesday.

Represented by Dr Chukwuma Anyaike, the Director, Public Health in the ministry, Pate revealed that “NTDs affect 1.6 billion people globally, with majority of them in developing countries.

“However, it is gladdening to note that substantial progress has been made over the last decade as evidenced by some major achievements highlighted.

“Another achievement is the weaning of 29 million people off ivermectin treatment in 10 transmission states in the country, and elimination of onchocerciasis in Plateau and Nasarawa states.

“Also, the interruption of transmission in Kaduna, Kebbi, Zamfara, Delta, Imo, Abia, Enugu, Anambra states.

“Also, no fewer than 39.5 million people across 20 states and FCT no longer require lymphatic filariasis treatment, which is reduction prevalence in at-risk population of trachoma infection by 84 per cent.

“A total of 106 of 126 endemic local government areas for trachoma in the country have stopped treatment and have also attained elimination threshold for the active stage of the disease, while 91 areas have attained elimination threshold for the blinding stage of the disease.

“At inception, about 30 million persons were at risk of going blind from trachoma but the risk has now been brought down significantly to about 3.5 million.”

The minister, therefore, urged the media and other stakeholders to continue to support and contribute toward NTDs elimination to enable Nigeria achieve 2030 SDGs target.

Dr Laxmikant Chavan, UCN Cluster Lead and AMR Expert, World Health Organisation (WHO), while reiterating commitment to NTDs elimination, commended Federal Government for the remarkable progress achieved.

He said “let me appreciate Nigeria’s efforts and achievements. Nigeria has actually provided the medicines for mass drug administration and treatment of NTDs.

“More than 20 million Nigerians now don’t need any mass drug administration. That means they are free from the NTDs and that’s a big achievement.”

Mr Adeyemi Joseph, the Assistant Director, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Tracking, Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation, emphasised the need for stakeholders to unite in eliminating NTDs in totality.

He said “it was on the backdrop of that we launched the NTDs combined indicator on WASH platform last year.

“And this dashboard is perfect for joint planning and joint information at the community level. We are also open to initiatives aimed at strengthening the NTDs WASH collaboration efforts.” (NAN)

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