Grassroots leadership, crucial in ending neglected tropical diseases, says expert
Grassroots leadership has been identified as an effective means in planning and execution of public health projects to get the desired outcome on ending Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).
According to the Ilorin-based documentary photographer, Adebayo Abayomi, in his recent coverage of the Mass Administration of Medicine (MAM) project in Osun State, sponsored by the END Fund and Amen Health Care and Empowerment Foundation, leadership at the local level is a critical component of any effective community-based intervention for prevention and control of NTDs.
Abayomi said when local chiefs give their vote of confidence to community development projects, all members of the community are mobilised to take a stand against neglected tropical diseases.
He said: “In Osun State, kings have a great influence on their community members. They are revered and have the ability to mobilise people from all walks of life. Moreover, they can also be engaged to promote positive health behaviour practices through leading by example.
“Although most people might think intestinal worms are a thing of the past, they actually affect more people than we know. They are part of a group of diseases known as NTDs, bilharzia, river blindness, among others, which affect more than 130 million Nigerians.”
“Chiefs are not only a symbol of authority but figures that people look up to. Therefore, it is important that grassroots leadership is embedded in the planning and execution of public health projects so that the desired outcomes can be achieved.”
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