From Abel Leonard
The Nasarawa State Commissioner for Health , Pharm. Ahmed Baba-Yahaya, has said that about 167, 597 people with neglected tropical diseases related cases were treated in the state in 2022
Yahaya disclosed this on Friday during a briefing with journalist to mark the ‘2023 World Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDa) Day’ which he stressed that about 06, 415 school children and 61, 182 adults were treated of the diseases in its effort to tackle the diseases in the state.
He said 41 surgeries of hydrocele were carried out at the Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital Lafia and 145 lymphadema patients were also currently being managed at 10 different medical facilities in the state
Yahaya explained that Surveillance activity will also be carried out at border communities and giving drugs to IDPs and migrants from other infected states in order to avoid disease recrudescence (Onchocercials and lymphatic filariasis)
The states he said include FCT, Benue, Kogi, Teraba and Kaduna while commending the team for their hard work in the fight against not only NTDs but also covid 19, Lasee fever, HIV, Monkey pox, Chickenpox and other diseases that pose great danger to the health of the people. Noting also that preventive measures against diphtheria by Improving routne imunizaton among children less than 5 years as well as avoiding overcrowding as been championed.
He said the diseases are significantly responsible for health, social and economic burden of over 1 billion people in all countries of the world in direct costs, lose of productivity and low socio-economic and education attainment.
“Nasarawa State has its own share of Neglected Tropical Diseases which include Onchocerciasis, Lymphatic filariasis, Tra schistosomiasis and Soil Transmitted Helminthes.”
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“As at present, the state is now focused on two diseases, schistosomiasis which is now treated at ward level and soil transmitted Helminthes which is school based for School Age Children (SAC) 5-14 years in school and out of school.”
“The programme has also introduced morbidity management for people with hydrocele through free surgery with support of The Carter Center.”
The programme also, 10 Hope Group clinics have been established for management of lymphadema/elephantiasis.
in terms of achievement in 2022, the health Boss said the programme held annual state strategic review meeting with all NTDs stakeholders in the state, conducted mobilization to all 13 LGAs towards implementation of activities.
“The programme also trained; 60 Local Integrated Health Team members in 12 LGAs, 300 Health Facility staff in 12 LGAs, 2,822 public/private primary/junior secondary school teachers” he added.
Speaking with Sunday Sun shortly after the briefing, Mr. Jacob Danboyi, Desk Officer, Neglected Tropical Diseases in the state explained that it is very important to stay safe from mosquito bite this season as it is the major cause of elephantism while he presents some patients that were treated and some that currently being managed.
Some of the patients Joseph Philip and Emmanuel Ishaku who spoke to newsmen expressed gratitude to the state government for coming to thier aid.
the both explained that they have suffered with diseases for more than 10 years, but are currently getting better due to the free drugs and cream the ministry of health had given them to ease the pain and swollen.