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Nasarawa State reaffirms commitment to intensify fight against tropical diseases


Nasarawa State

The Nasarawa State government has reaffirmed its commitment to intensify the fight and evolve policies and programmes to eradicate Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) in the state.

Nasarawa State Commissioner of Health, Ahmed Baba-Yahaya, said this on Thursday at a news conference in Lafia to mark the World NTDs Day with the theme “Beat NTDs for Good for All”.

He said the fight has become imperative because the state is endemic with the five of the diseases, which include Onchocerciasis, Lymphatic Filariasis, Schistosomiasis, Trachoma and Soil Transmitted Helminthes.

NTDs are set of infectious diseases that cause a lot of morbidity and disability among people as a result of poor or lack of environmental sanitation, poor housing and lack of potable water.

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Among the Neglected Tropical Diseases are Onchocerciasis, Lymphatic Filariasis, Schistosomiasis, Trachoma, Human and Animal Trypanosomiasis, Dengue Fever, Buruli ulcer, Yaws, Leishmaniasis, Soil Transmitted Helminthes, Rabies, Leprosy, Snake bite, Guinea worm and mycetoma.

The Commissioner said in combating the diseases, government received 502,700 tablets of mebendazole and 194, 984 tablets of praziquantel from the Federal Ministry of Health for treatment of about 502, 349 school age children between 5 – 14 years in 2019.

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The commissioner noted that with the collaborating effort of Carter Centre, as supporting partner, the state would leave no stone upturned in the fight against these deadly diseases.

The Carter Centre is a nongovernmental organisation that helps to improve lives by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy and preventing diseases.

Highlighting the achievement of 2019 in the fight against NTDs, Baba-Yahaya said with the support from Carter Centre, the state was able to train 45 local integrated health team members, and 225 health facility staff.

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Others trained are 611 community directed distributors, 2,153 teachers, 42 school supervisors and seven social mobilisation officers.

The commissioner while commending the state government efforts toward tackling NTDs, he said the state would do more in terms of training of health personnel and treatment of school age children in 2020.