The Federal Government of Nigeria has called on partners to provide more support for the elimination of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs)in Nigeria.
Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole made this call while speaking at the launch of the sight-savers one billion treatment of Neglected Tropical Diseases held in Abuja.
According to a press statement released by the Federal Ministry of Health, the Minister, who was represented by the Director, Public Health, Dr. Evelyn Ngige, said that federal government appreciated the support of the development partners toward elimination of the diseases, he however appealed for more support to scale the fight against the diseases.
Adewole said that sight-savers had been one of the major partners in the control and elimination of NTDs in Nigeria and presently supporting the elimination of NTDs in Kaduna, Zamfara, Kogi, Kwara, Kebbi, Sokoto and Benue.
Prof Adewole said “we are proud to be associated with you as we join you to celebrate the one-billion treatment milestone. We regard commemorating this milestone in Nigeria as an expression of your lasting commitment to ending the NTDs and increasing the health outcomes in Nigeria”
He said that the previous contributions made by sight-severs and other partners in Nigeria had made significant progress in the control, management and elimination of the diseases which led to certification of Nigeria as guinea worm free country and reduction in transmission of onchocerciasis in several states.
The Minister however explained that despite the significant improvement in the treatment coverage, there was still need for mass administration of the Medicines in some states.
“I am using this opportunity to make passionate plea for the scale up of support for NTDs control and elimination, government cannot do this alone”
The Minister noted that apart from those states that were being supported, other states such as Oyo, Ogun, Bayelsa and River states should also benefit from the programme.
“I believe this will increase the tempo of implementing of NTD interventions in Nigeria as well as facilitate our ability to meet global targets for the control and elimination of NTDs” Adewole said.
Earlier, the Country Director, Nigeria and Ghana Sight-savers , Dr. Sunday Isiyaku said that what they did was to provide logistic and Technical support to the states and federal government to ensure that people who needed the treatment got it.
“Most of this treatment happens once in a year but there is a lot of logistics involved in it, we must ensure that we get the drugs and distribute it to the needed countries and the states”
“The diseases should have been eliminated many years ago but were neglected, for instance if we talk of trachoma, making available water is good step in preventing it.”
Dr. Sunday thanked the partners and pharmaceutical companies that provide drugs and donated to the Sight-savers for onward distribution to needed communities.