Lagos warns residents on outbreak of NTDs in communities
According to a survey carried out by the Lagos State Ministry of Health, six Local Government Areas (LGAs) including Mushin, Alimosho, Ikeja, Ibeju Lekki, Agege and Kosofe, are endemic of Schistosomiasis, one of the Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), which have been attributable to poor hygiene and contaminated water.
It is against this backdrop that The END Fund is collaborating with the NTDs Control Programme of the Federal Ministry of Health and other stakeholders to support NTDs control in key states across Nigeria.
While speaking at an awareness outreach organised by Youth Empowerment and Development Initiative (YEDI) and The END Fund in Kosofe LGA, Lagos State NTDs Coordinator, Jenriola Olanrewaju noted that the diseases are no longer that of the poor alone, hence the need for the awareness.
He urged the people to imbibe good hygiene to avert NTDs, which according to him can be contracted by anybody.
Jenrola, however, noted that a survey for Elephantiasis and other NTDs was yet to be carried out in the state saying, “We will still do the survey; swimming in contaminated water exposes people to the disease. It causes high morbidity among the affected. It leads to high school absenteeism, anaemia, poor growth, bladder cancer, and even death. It often affects school children aged 5-14 years.”
On her part, the Africa Regional Adviser on Public Affairs, The END Fund, Oyetola Oduyemi, stressed the need for heightened NTDs awareness in the state and government support in putting an end to the diseases.
“The NTDs are chronic, disabling parasitic and bacterial infections, affecting more than 1.5billion people around the world and more than 40% of the global burden is borne by Africa; over 120million Nigerians are at risk of 1 or more NTD, according to the World Health Organisation.” According to her, in addition to treatment, The END Fund is driving awareness about the causes because they are easily preventable.
Also, YEDI’s Executive Director, Oje Ivagba advocated a clean and safe environment in the state, stressing that the harm the disease causes is devastating. He urged the government to intensify the campaign on the prevention of NTDs.
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