Approximately 122 million Nigerians are at risk of one or more Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD)Kills, injures, and permanently incapacitates millions of people around the world each year.
Health officials who mentioned this on Tuesday also accused the public of low awareness of the disease.
Nse Akpan, the national coordinator of the NTD eradication program, said that two in three Nigerians (48% of whom are children) may be suffering from another of these diseases nationwide.
NTDs are a common condition in tropical or subtropical areas, especially due to poverty, poor sanitation, lack of safe water sources, substandard housing conditions, and inadequate medical access.
NTDs prevalent in Nigeria include treponematosis (Yaws), Hansen’s disease (Hansen’s disease), Chagas’s disease, human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis (river blindness), and cystosomiasis (river blindness). Birhalzia) and so on.
Akpan reported that the World Health Organization (WHO) identified 20 NTDs, 15 of which are endemic to Nigeria.
He explained that these illnesses are said to be ignored because they are common among the oppressed, low-income, and rural people of Nigeria.
Akpan stated this in a two-day media dialogue hosted by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture’s Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRIB) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Port Harcourt.
“Sometimes they lead a miserable life, but no one cares about this. We are only focused on tackling other illnesses in the country,” he said.
The coordinator regretted the widespread efforts to eradicate these diseases nationwide due to low awareness and reduced funding, despite the health and economic implications of these diseases.
He said Nigeria’s goal was to eliminate all 15 NTDs in the country by 2020, but only one of the 2013 Guinea worm disease (GWD) was successfully eliminated.
“We call ourselves African giants, but we’re actually surviving with donor funding. We’ve been allocated federal funding, but we still enjoy donor support. That’s why the liberation is epilepsy. There will come a time when Nigeria will not see donor support, “he said.
He reiterated that awareness and funding to eradicate the disease must be improved.
Aliyu Suleiman, the center of Nigeria’s NTD, said that all states in Nigeria are unique to the NTD except for four local governments.
He pointed out that although two local governments are in rivers and two are in Bauchi, no local government has been certified without NTDS, as certification is only done at the national level.
Jeffrey Nyok, a UNICEF communications specialist, said the dialogue aims to change the story and perceptions of NTD, bridge communication gaps in the community and raise awareness around them.
He added that the dialogue is expected to inform the media more and provide appropriate messages to reduce morbidity and mortality from illness.
Globally, 1.5 billion people suffer from NTDs, 40% of which are in Africa.
122 million Nigerians at risk of NTD
https://businessday.ng/health/article/122m-nigerians-at-risk-of-ntds/ 122 million Nigerians at risk of NTD