By John Okeke
The Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) unit of the public health department, Health and human services secretariat of the federal capital territory administration has flagged off it’s 2020 annual deworming program that will run through 11th December 2020.
This was disclosed during a press briefing by the Public Health Department and its partners in Abuja this Thursday.
The Unit Coordinator, Mrs Ogundipe Eunice Bosede while addressing the press said due to poor awareness, people are not aware of these Diseases.
She said the NTDS are parasitic bacteria infections that are prevail in mainly poor and unhygienic environment.
Ogundipe said among the infected west African countries, Nigeria is the most burdened.
“Due to poor funding, the FCT public health department has limited the fight against tropical diseases only five, among which are snail fever, intestinal worm, elephantiasis, tracoma and liver plain.”
Ogundipe said that the effect of these infections cannot be undermined and called on the media to take the lead in creating awareness to tackle these Diseases.
She said that the department has since 2004 commenced an annual deworming Excercise, noting that these NTDs has low mortality with high mobility.
She said all six local area council of the FCT are endemic with Gwagwalada area council as the highest, as such posing infection risk to the FCT environ.
The NTDs manager of the Health and Development Support Program (HANDS), Rinpan Ishaya in his address said that the aim of the program is to ensure that eligible persons are given the tablet free once every year.
He noted that some of the challenges of the program are poor funding, parents and guardian refusal to administer the tablets to their ward’s and lack of public sensitization.
In his words” if someone gives you something free and you reject it, the person will feel unfulfilled”
He further stressed on the need for stakeholders be involved in the fight against NTDs. “If must meet the global goal of ending NTDs, we must make sure every eligible person takes the tablet”