122m Nigerians at risk of one or more NTDs, says FG



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122m Nigerians at risk of one or more NTDs, says FG

By Moses Emorinken, Abuja



The Federal Government on Wednesday stated that approximately 122 million Nigerians are at risk of one or more Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).

It stated that the country accounts for 40 percent of NTDs burden in Africa, with children and women being the most affected, especially in poor communities.



For a disease that is majorly regarded as the disease of the poor, the FG further said that poor sanitation, lack of safe water sources, substandard housing conditions, and lack of access to healthcare, are other predisposing factors for contracting NTDs.

Neglected Tropical Diseases are a group of preventable and treatable diseases that could be caused by viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and affects 1.5 billion people globally. The NTDs in Nigeria are onchocerciasis (river blindness), trachoma, lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis), schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminthiasis, snakebite envenoming,rabies, buruli ulcer, leprosy, yaws, leishmaniasis, Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT), and guinea-worm disease.

The Director and National Coordinator of NTDs Elimination Program of the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Chukwuma Anyaike, made this known during a media dialogue organised by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for health correspondents in Ibadan.

Anyaike explained that for NTDs to be eliminated in Nigeria, government at the Federal, States and Local Government levels must take responsibility for resource mobilization because more than 80 percent of funding for NTDs in Nigeria comes basically from international donors.

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“Africa controls 90 percent of NTDs burden in the world, and Nigeria contributes 40 percent of this burden. The major causes of NTDs are poverty, poor sanitation, lack of safe water sources, substandard housing conditions, and deficient healthcare access.

“Approximately 122 million people in Nigeria are at risk of one or more NTDs. In Nigerian, 20 percent of preschool children are affected, with 28 percent of school age children between the ages of 5 – 14 years affected. 52 percent of adults from 15 years above are affected by NTDs.

“NTDs affects Nigeria negatively by promoting poverty, affecting children academic performances, result in low productivity, poor nutritional status and threatens food scarcity.

“Our focus is to have a country free of NTDs by putting measures in place to reduce morbidity and mortality rates to barest minimum,” he said.

 

 

 

122m Nigerians at risk of one or more NTDs, says FG

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