From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
80 per cent of the population in Ogun State are at risk of being infected with the Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), according to the State Commissioner for Health, Dr Tomi Coker.
The commissioner disclosed this at the weekend during a press conference to commemorate the 2020 World NTDs day, held at the NMA House, Abeokuta, the state capital.
Coker said that people living in rural areas are most vulnerable to diseases.
She added that about 1.4 million school-age children are at risk of schistosomiasis, a disease contractable from dog urine and soil-transmitted helminthiasis.
While noting that every Local government in the state is endemic for one or more NTDs, the commissioner listed Abeokuta North and Odeda Local Government Areas as the local governments with the highest prevalence of some of the diseases in Nigeria.
Coker also noted that Nigeria is Africa’s most affected country with about 25 per cent of the NTDs.
‘It is noteworthy that each LGA in the state is endemic for one or more NTDs, particularly Abeokuta North and Odeda Local Government Areas, which are with the highest prevalence of schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis in the state,’ she stated.
‘Sadly, Nigeria is Africa’s most affected country with about 25 per cent of total cases of Neglected Tropical Diseases, six out of which are prevalent in Ogun State.’
She indicated that the state government would solicit support from private partners to curtail the spread of the diseases in the state.
‘The truth is that NTDs are preventable and curable and will not be neglected by this administration with support from our partners.
‘Since 90 per cent of Neglected Tropical Diseases are hygiene-related diseases, Ogun state Ministry of Health has trained community mobilisers to sensitise 1,620 households on hygiene promotion as well as distribute hand washing buckets, soaps and facemasks to 423 health facilities in nine local government areas of the state, thus, integrating NTDs eradications into our COVID-19 response and building sustainable health practices at the community level to ensure a healthier Ogun state overall,’ Coker stated.