Experts on Neglected Tropical Disease (NTDs) have converged in Abuja to hold the first World Neglected Tropical Disease Day in Nigeria. The Aim is to review its activities, discuss progress and proffer solutions to some of the challenges in eliminating the Epidemic in Nigeria.
The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire made this known while briefing the Press in Abuja to commemorate the 2020 World Neglected Tropical Disease (NTDs) day with the theme: Beat NTDs, For Good For All.
The Minister said that NTDs are old disease that prevail in poor countries and that they have been almost totally eliminated in the developed world.
He noted that Neglected Tropical Diseases are diverse group of communicable diseases that spread across tropical and sub-tropical conditions. These diseases are singled out because of their adverse impact, relative obscurity and the availability of tools to combat them.
Dr. Ehanire disclosed that people afflicted by these diseases are usually poor, vulnerable and left on their own to face the debilitating consequence of the NTDs. There are over 20 of these diseases which include blinding trachoma, buruli ulcer, guinea worm disease, endemic treponematoses. Lymphatic filariasis, onchoceraciasis and many others.
The Permanent Secretary, Health, Mr Abdulaziz Mashi Abdullahi, stated that statistics showed that globally, NTDs caused the loss of up to 534,000 lives and 57 million disability-adjusted life years daily’s each year while about 100 million persons in Nigerians are at the risk of one or more of these neglected tropical disease (NTDs).
He added that the commitment to beat Neglected Tropical Disease (NTDs) is both ambitious and realistic, and it is in line with the National Health Policy (Section 4.1.2.), and the second National Strategic Health Development Plan (Section 5.30)World Health Assembly (WHA), Resolution 66.12, as well as Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 3.3).
Mr Abudullalhi noted that the World NTDs Day has presented Nigeria a golden opportunity to scale up awareness in order to make the campaign against NTDs a priority thus ending the chronic neglect associated with NTDs.
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