Lagos Govt to Assess Prevalence of NTDs
The Lagos State government is to assess prevalence of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) in all of the state’s 20 councils as part of ongoing efforts to treat and eliminate the diseases.
Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, who made the disclosure yesterday after an awareness walk, organised by the Ministry of Health and a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Mission to Save the Helpless (MITOSATH), to mark this year’s NTD Day, explained that the assessment, which commences next month, would result in targeted treatment of NTDs where necessary in line with WHO’s elimination roadmap.
Harping on the global theme, “Act Now, Act Together, Invest in Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases,” restated that Lagos would assess prevalence of other NTDs like Lymphatic filariasis and Onchocerciasis, which is commencing early next month in 14 councils for Onchocerciasis and six councils for Lymphatic filariasis.
Represented by the Director Epidemiology, Biosecurity and Global Health, Dr. Ismail Abdus-Salam, the commissioner said the global event is celebrated every January 30 because of impact of NTDs and growing concern of their burden of risk on national and global economies over the decades.
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His words: “NTDs are a group of conditions that affects more than a billion people, who mostly live in marginalised, rural, poor urban areas and conflict zones. Although they are preventable and treatable, these diseases and their intricate interrelationships with poverty and ecological systems continue to cause devastating health, social and economic consequences.
“True to the name, NTDs seldom receive the attention they warrant. To end this neglect, the 74th World Health Assembly declared January 30 as World Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) Day.”
On intervention and efforts of the state government to control and eliminate NTDs, Abayomi said through cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Health and MITOSATH, Lagos successfully completed treatment to prevent Schistosomiasis in nine endemic councils, adding that over 350,000 school-age children (SAC) got treatment for the disease.
Executive Director of MITOSATH, Dr. Francesca Olamiju, said the body was collaborating with Lagos and other relevant governmental and non-governmental agencies to control and eliminate NTDs.