THE Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Dr Tomi Coker, has said that 80 percent of people residing in the state are at the risk of contracting Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD).
She disclosed this at a news conference to mark the 2020 World NTD Day, stressing that people living in the rural areas are most vulnerable.
According to her, 1.4 million school-age children are at the risk of schitosomiasis, a disease contactable from dog urine and soil-transmitter helminthiasis.
The commissioner equally disclosed that each local government in the state was endemic for one or more NTDs, adding that Abeokuta North and Odeda local government areas had the highest prevalence of some of the diseases in Nigeria.
Coker expressed regrets that Nigeria was Africa’s most affected country with about 25 per cent of the NTDs.
“It is noteworthy that each LGA in the state is endemic for one or more NTDs, particularly Abeokuta North and Odeda Local government areas, which are with the highest prevalence of schitosomiasis and soil transmitted helminthiasis in the state.
“Sadly, Nigeria is Africa’s most affected country with about 25 per cent of total cases of Neglected Tropical Diseases, six out of which are prevalent in Ogun State, he said.
To tackle the diseases and avert future outbreak, Coker stressed that the government would solicit support from private partners to curtail the spread of the diseases in the state.
“The truth is that, NTDs are preventable and curable and will not be neglected by this administration with support from our partners.Since 90 per cent of Neglected Tropical Diseases are hygiene-related diseases, the Ogun State Ministry of Health has trained community mobilisers to sensitise 1,620 household on hygiene promotion, as well as distribute handwashing buckets, soaps and facemasks to 423 health facilities in nine local government areas of the state.
Meanwhile, worried by the endemic nature of NTDs like Lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis, onchocerciasis and soil-transmitted helminthes across its local government areas, the Oyo state government has tasked its residents to embrace healthy living.
THe state Commissioner for Health, Dr Bashir Bello ,made this call at a press conference to mark this year’s World Neglected Tropical Diseases day, in the state.
Bello had pointed to a survey by the federal ministry of health showing that while onchocerciasis is endemic in 28 local government areas (LGAs), lymphatic filariais is common in 10 LGAs while schistosomiasis ravages 28 LGAs and soil-transmitted helminthes is evident in 28 LGAs.
He harped on the need for residents to prioritise good water sanitation and hygiene to avert the risk of disability, stigmatization, anaemia and even death.
Speaking in the same vein, Executive Secretary, Oyo State Primary Healthcare Board, Dr Muideen Olatunji urged residents to access the free medicines for the control of NTDs at the state’s primary healthcare centres.
He also harped on imperativeness of water, sanitation and hygiene noting that people get infected by being bitten by infected female blackfly, infected mosquitoes and ingestion of contaminated foods and water as well as contact with contaminated soil.
He added that the state embarked on a deworming exercise across in private and public schools for treatment of schistosomiasis and soil transmitted diseases.
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