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Deworming: FCTA Urges Residents To Embrace NTDs Treatment Medication

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) is appealing to residents to embrace the practice of using deworming medication so as to treat the four major Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) endemic.

The acting director of the public health department, Doris John, made the call during a stakeholders’ meeting to prepare for the mass administration of medicines for NTDs in Abuja.

The mass administration of the drugs is set to begin in November.

The four major neglected tropical diseases prevalent in the FCT include soil-transmitted helminthiasis, lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis and schistosomiasis.

Ms John, represented by Eunice Ogundipe, the NTDs programme manager in the public health department, said the meeting brought stakeholders from the six area councils to help mobilise and create awareness on deworming medicines.

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She said the diseases are predominant in poor communities with little or no water and sanitation facilities, which has associated stigma because of the forms it takes.

Ms John explained that diseases such as elephantiasis have widespread superstitious beliefs because it presents as a swollen leg, which makes it difficult for affected persons to interact in the communities freely.

Also, Imaobong Umah, the programme manager of the Schistosomiasis/Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis Elimination Programme, Federal Ministry of Health, said mass administration of deworming drugs was part of strategies to eliminate NTDs in Nigeria.

Ms Umah added that the exercise would take place in schools, communities, religious gatherings, markets, and others to enable them to reach the targeted group.

However, she lamented the pushback and resistance from some community members due to ignorance and appealed to residents, especially parents, to feed their children properly before presenting them with drugs.

Present at the meeting were several stakeholders including representatives of traditional leaders, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Jama’tu Nasril Islamic (JNI), Heads of the Department of Health, FCT-Primary Health Care Board, and Universal Basic Education Board (UBEB), among others.