ntds neglected tropical diseases

NTDs: Five Million People Are At Risk

The Kaduna State Government has disclosed that over five million persons in the State are at risk of suffering from NTDs such as river blindness, lymphatic filariasis, bilharziasis and intestinal worms.

The Commissioner for Health, Umma Ahmad, disclosed this, yesterday, at a briefing to commemorate the World Neglected Tropical Disease (NTDs) Day 2024 at the health ministry in Kaduna.

According to her, the state government has been working with all relevant stakeholders, particularly Non-Governmental Development Organisations, such as Sightsavers, to tackle the menace of NTDs in the state.

“Kaduna government is charting a new course of community engagement to tackle NTDs for sustainable development.”

Over the years, she added, the country has been battling to eliminate tropical diseases by taking measures such as mass administration of medicines, morbidity management and disability prevention, integrated vector control, sound sanitation and hygiene practices with safe water supply.

“Every January 30 has been set aside by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to sensitise global communities on the burden of NTDs, which affects more than one billion people across the globe, with about 149 countries faced with these diseases and Africa bearing about half of the burden.”

Nigeria, he noted, is the country with the second highest burden of NTDs in the world and contributes the highest burden in Africa with more than 120 million of its people living at the risk of one neglected tropical disease or another.

“The World NTD Day is an opportunity to re-energise the momentum to end the suffering from these 20 diseases that are caused by a variety of pathogens, including viruses, bacteria, parasites, fungi and toxins,” she said.

She stated that the day would help the government to focus on millions of people, who have limited or no access to prevention, treatment and care services.

“The recent rollout of the 10-year NTDs roadmap for the period 2021 to 2030 by WHO on January 28, 2021, which proposed ambitious targets and innovative approaches towards tackling NTDs, provides a clear blueprint and direction towards NTDs elimination globally.”