Pharm. Ahmed Baba-Yahaya, Nasarawa State Commissioner for Health, says the state government treated 167,597 people with neglected tropical diseases (NTD) related cases in 2022.
The Commissioner made the disclosure at an event to mark the ‘2023 World Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDa) Day’ on Saturday in Lafia.
According to him, 106,415 school children and 61,182 adults were treated of the diseases in an 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 lymphedema patients are also currently being managed at 10 different medical facilities in the state.
He explained that neglected tropical diseases are a group of bacteria or parasitic diseases numbering about 20 usually caused by the absence of environmental sanitation, poor housing condition and lack of good portable water.
He listed some of the diseases to including Onchocerciasis, Lymphatic, Filariasis, and Trachoma among others.
He further said that the state was recognised for being the first in the country to successfully eliminate Onchocerciasis Filariasis as a public health problem.
He said the state has put in place a lot of measures which was the reason for the successes recorded and would do more to surpass the achievements of 2022.
“In 2022, we trained 60 local integrated health team members, 300 health facilities staff, and 2,722 public and private primary and junior secondary school teachers.
“We also trained 966 communities directed distributors and 54 school supervisors,” the Commissioner added.
Baba-Yahaya also said that the government, through the support of the Carter Center, had introduced free surgery of morbidity management for people with hydrocele.
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He, therefore, commended the Federal Ministry of Health, Carter Center as well as Gov. Abdullahi Sule for their continuous investment to tackle the neglected tropical diseases in the state and the country.
The Commissioner also lauded healthcare workers in the state for their hard work in the fight against NTDs as well as other infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, Lassa Fever, HIV, monkeypox, and chickenpox among others.
On his part, Mr Jacob Danboyi, Desk Officer, Neglected Tropical Diseases in the state, presented some patients that were treated and some that are 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 their aid.
The duo explained that they have suffered from the disease for more than 10 years, but are currently getting better due to the free drugs and cream they were given by the government.
They also said that the medical team prescribed regular exercises and proper hygiene for them as a way to improve their health condition and avoid further complications. (NAN).