120m Nigerians risk contracting tropical diseases- Commissioner

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By Our Correspondent

As all hands are on deck to check the spread of lassa fever hitting many states in Nigeria, over 120 million Nigerians are at risk of Tropical Diseases (NTDs) out of over 1.5 billion people being threatened by the disease globally.

The Kwara Commissioner for Health, Dr Raji Razak, disclosed this in Ilorin during a news conference organised to commemorate the World NTDs Day.

The event which was organised by the state Ministry of Health in conjunction with Sightsavers,an NGO, with the theme: “Beat NTDs for good, for all.”

Razak observed that NTDs had been identied as a major public health problem, not only in the state but the world at large.

” NTDs threaten more than 1.5 billion people living in the poorest and most marginalized communities worldwide.

” The disease is associated with those with disabilities and the disfigured, taking away not only their health, but also their chances of staying in school, earning a living or even being accepted by their family or community,” he said.

The Commissioner listed some of the NTDs to include River blindness, Schistosomiasis, Soul Transmitted Helminths, Leprosy and Lymphatic filariasis among others.

He explained that these diseases are of public health importance that affect many people in the country.

“We are reaching out to more people with NTDs treatment than ever before. In Kwara State, we have distributed drugs such as Mectizan, Albendazole, Praziquantel and Mebendazole to combat these disease.

“We have also carried out free surgical interventions, Hydrocelectomy on 210 patients with hydrocele.

“Over 2 millions treatments ranging from school age children to adults were done across the 16 local government area of the state, ” he said.

Razak also disclosed that patients with lymphoedema and elephantiasis are currently being managed across the three senatorial districts of the state.

He pledged that the state government would give support in the area of improved water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), reversing the cycle of poverty and saying no to stigmatisation, among others.

Speaking at the sidelines of the event, Mr Funsho Oyinloye, State Coordinator of NTDs, Kwara Ministry of Health, described NTDs as diseases neglected but ravaging the human body.

According to him, the also decrease deople’s health and reduces chances for life.

 

According to him, these disease reduce capacity to productive life, while also reduce life span.

He said that the state government at all levels should also accord imporatnace to NTDs, adding that the government should not see it as a simple disease.

He warned that the disease could also kill, like any other.

Oyinloye disclosed that in 2019, about 5 million tablets were given for both curative and preventive measures while over 1.2 million people were treated in the state.

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