120 million Nigerians at risk of leprosy, rabies, snakebites, others – FG

The Federal Government has said Nigeria is endemic to 14 of the 20 neglected tropical diseases listed by the World Health Organisation.

It also stated that over 120 million Nigerians were at risk of contracting the NTDs.
The Director of Public Health, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Morenikeji Alex-Okoh, disclosed this at the commemoration of the Neglected Tropical Diseases in Abuja on Friday.
A statement by the acting Director of Information, Federal Ministry of Health, Brendan Nwokike, which was made available to The PUNCH on Sunday, quoted Alex-Okoh as saying, “Nigeria is currently endemic to 14 NTDs; we have successfully eradicated guinea worm. The diseases we are still battling with include lymphatic filariasis, soil transmitted helminthiasis, onchocerciasis, trachoma (granular conjunctivitis) and schistosomiasis (bilharzia).
Others are rabies, leprosy, yaws, snakebites, leishmaniasis, Human African Trypanosomiasis, mycetoma and fascioliasis.
Also quoted to have spoken at the event, the Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunmimbe Mamora, added that over 120 million Nigerians were at the risk of the NTDs.
He said, “Over the years, the country has been battling seriously to eliminate most of these tropical diseases using approaches like preventive chemotherapy by conducting mass administration of medicines; morbidity management and disability prevention; integrated vector control; sound sanitation and hygiene practices with safe water supply etc.
“Currently, we are charting a new course of community engagement for tackling the NTDs for sustainability and ownership.
“Over 120 million Nigerians are at risk of the NTDs. The target of the government is to eliminate all the preventable NTDs and ensure the effective control of case management of the NTDs on or before 2030 by mapping of the endemic areas with some of these diseases in all the 774 LGAs in the country, and putting in place policies and guidelines to guide all stakeholders etc.”(Punch)

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