January 31, 2024.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
The Federal Government through the Ministry of Health (FMOH) has announced the elimination of River blindness in Plateau and Nasarawa states while marking the 2024 World Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) Day.
Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday, Prof. Ali Pate, represented by Dr. Chukwuma Anyaike, the Director of Public Health, disclosed that Nigeria has achieved commendable progress in the prevention, treatment, and elimination of NTDs.
With this year’s theme being “Unite, Act, Eliminate NTDs,” the minister emphasized the global impact of NTDs, affecting 1.6 billion people, predominantly in developing nations.
Pate acknowledged noteworthy achievements, including the cessation of ivermectin treatment for 29 million individuals across 10 transmission states.
Furthermore, the successful elimination of onchocerciasis in Plateau and Nasarawa states and the interruption of transmission in several other states demonstrated Nigeria’s commitment to NTD eradication.
The minister reported that 39.5 million people across 20 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) no longer require lymphatic filariasis treatment.
This achievement correlates with an 84% reduction in the prevalence of trachoma infection among the at-risk population. Notably, 106 out of 126 endemic local government areas for trachoma have ceased treatment, achieving elimination thresholds for both active and blinding stages of the disease.
Initially, about 30 million people were at risk of going blind from trachoma, but this risk has significantly decreased to approximately 3.5 million.
Prof. Ali Pate urged the media and stakeholders to sustain their support for NTD elimination, emphasizing the crucial role they play in achieving Nigeria’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Dr. Laxmikant Chavan, UCN Cluster Lead and AMR Expert from the World Health Organization (WHO), lauded Nigeria’s efforts, acknowledging that more than 20 million Nigerians no longer require mass drug administration, signifying their freedom from NTDs. (www.naija247news.com).