NIGERIA – The federal government has called the attention of stakeholders to the threat of Neglected Tropical Diseases, NTDs across the country.
The Head, Child Rights Information Bureau of the Ministry of Information and Culture, Mrs Mercy Megwa says NTDs affect and stunt the mental and physical development of children.
She lamented that neglected diseases are associated with poverty and afflicts more persons in rural communities because of poor access to life-saving amenities.
Speaking on behalf of Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture at a media dialogue on the control of NTDs in Nigeria, Mrs Megwa said about 122 million Nigerians, especially children are most at risk of the disease.
She explained that diseases such as Trachoma, River Blindness, Snail Fever, Lymphatic filariasis, leprosy, and rabies fall in this category.
She blamed unsafe water sources, substandard housing situations and poor hygiene as major sources of the diseases.
‘‘Neglected Tropical diseases are communicable diseases associated with poverty and commonly found in rural communities‘’
‘‘The huge burden of NTDs in the country calls for concern. Despite the fact that Nigeria has been certified guinea worm free these diseases are still very around and dangerous and affects children’s intellectual development and growth. She said.
The child rights director called on the federal ministry of health to work out modalities to help control, eliminate and eradicate NTDs in the country.
She, however, appealed to the media to disseminate accurate information on the disease and create awareness to help reduce mortality and morbidity from such communicable diseases.Tropical Diseases