The Lagos State Government says it will conduct prevalence assessment of some neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), as part of ongoing efforts for treatment and elimination of the diseases in the state.
The state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, disclosed this in a statement by Tunbosun Ogunbanwo, Director, Public Affairs in the ministry, on Monday in Lagos.
Abayomi, represented by Dr Ismail Abdus-Salam, Director, Epidemiology, Biosecurity and Global Health, said this at an awareness walk in commemoration of the World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day.
The event was celebrated by the state and a non-governmental organisation, Mission to Save the Helpless (MITOSATH).
The 74th World Health Assembly declared Jan. 30 as World Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) Day to end the neglect and draw attention to the growing burden of NTDs risk on national and global economies.
The theme for 2023 celebration is: “Act Now, Act Together, Invest in Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases.”
Abayomi said that the state would conduct an assessment on the prevalence of NTDs including Lymphatic Filariasis and Onchocerciasis, in 20 local government areas.
According to him, the assessment which will hold in February will lead to targeted treatments of NTDs in line with the World Health Organisation’s NTD elimination road map.
He noted that Nigeria accounts for 25 per cent of Africa’s NTD burden, saying that the disease affects millions of people worldwide.
Abayomi said that more people are at risk of NTDs due to prevalent societal neglect and lack of basic amenities such as water, sanitation, hygiene and healthcare waste management facilities.
“Neglected Tropical Diseases are a group of conditions that affect more than a billion people who mostly live in marginalised, rural, poor urban areas and conflict zones.
“Although they are preventable and treatable, these diseases and their intricate interrelationships with poverty and ecological systems continue to cause devastating health, social and economic consequences.
“True to the name, NTDs seldom receive the attention they warrant,” Abayomi said.
Abayomi said that the state in collaboration with WHO, Federal Ministry of Health and MITOSATH successfully completed treatment to prevent Schistosomiasis in nine endemic LGAs of Lagos in 2022.
He said that over 350,000 school-aged children successfully received treatment for the disease.
“Lagos has won several awards among which was the award of an outstanding performance for being the first state to implement Schistosomiasis ward level treatment in line with the new WHO guideline,” he said.
Similarly, Dr Francesca Olamiju, Executive Director, MITOSATH, said MITOSATH would continue to collaborate with Lagos state and other non-governmental organisations in pursuance of the objective of NTDs control and elimination.
Olamiju said that all hands must be on deck to eliminate NTDs in Lagos and Nigeria. (NAN)