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Strange disease hits Bauchi, ten villagers hospitalised

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[FILES] A medical worker (Photo by OLGA MALTSEVA / AFP)

A strange illness that causes swollen legs has hit Bara village of Kirfi LGA in Bauchi State with 10 villagers hospitalized.
 
The Executive Chairman, Bauchi State Primary Health Care Development Agency (BASPHCDA), Dr. Rilwanu Mohammed, disclosed this on Monday while briefing newsmen on the commemoration of the 2021 World Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) Day celebration.
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Rilwanu said: “Late Sunday evening, we got a report that people’s legs were swelling up in Bara village. The reports have it that 10 people have been affected. I have directed the Disease Control Department of the agency to mobilise its team to the village to find out what the problem is.”
 
He said that the agency was suspecting onchocerciasis or lymphatic filariasis, considering that the LGA was one of the LGAs that had the cases of those tropical diseases. He promised to curb the spread after their preliminary investigation.
 
While speaking on the NTDs, Rilwanu said 1million Bauchi residents were suffering from tropical diseases, among the 1billion in the world.
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He said that the disease is caused by poor sanitation and lack of potable water.

While listing some of the NTDs to include onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis, soil-transmitted helminths, trachoma, schistosomiasis, buruli ulcer, snake bite, leprosy, human African trypanosomiasis, Guinea worms, yaws and loiasis, he said that with good sanitation and proper hygiene, the diseases could be checked.
 
He pointed out that as of now, Bauchi State has onchocerciasis in 12 LGAs; lymphatic filariasis in 11 LGAs; schistosomiasis in 16 LGAs, trachoma in 2 LGAs while Guinea worm has already been eradicated in Nigeria as a whole.
 

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Rilwanu Mohammed added that for morbidity management and prevention, the state was working with UNICEF and a local NGO, Mission To Save the Helpless (MITOSATH).
 
For the 2020 treatment cycle, he said that the state was able to collect and distribute 9 million tables of Ivermectin; 1.9m tablets of Albendazole; 1.7m tablets of Praziquantel; 18 motorcycles for NTDs endemic LGAs; trained 500 health workers on NTD medicines supply chain management and 500 community volunteers on hygiene promotion on collaboration with RUWASSA.
 
“Generally, the state is making progress on the elimination of this preventive chemotherapy NTDs as Oncho is about to be eliminated in the state. he said epidemiological surveys had been carried out and were successful and the government was waiting for the results of the third.

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