By Adam Muhammad, Gusau
No fewer than One Million Forty-Eight Thousand Nine Hundred Seventy-Eight (1,048,978) Children were received treatment for prevention of Bilharzia disease across 14 local government areas in Zamfara state.
This was made known by the Zamfara state commissioner of health Dr. Aisha MZ Anka at a press conference to mark 5th World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day Tuesday in her office.
The Commissioner who was represented by the Acting Permanent Secretary of the ministry Bashiru Adamu Gusau stated that the neglected tropical diseases include, Elephantiasis, River blindness, Bilharziasis, Trachoma, Soil-transmitted helminths (Intestinal worms), leprosy, and many others.
According to indices had indicated that the neglected Tropical Diseases affected over 1.7 billion people worldwide, predominantly those living in poverty-stricken areas.
She explained that Zamfara state government in collaboration with Sightsavers had successfully implemented mass drug administration campaigns and achieved interruption of River Blindness transmission in 6 Local Governments that were previously endemic comprising Bukkuyum, Anka, Maru, Bungudu, Tsafe, and Zurmi.
Dr. Aisha further stated that on trachoma-endemic, LGAs like Bungudu, Kaura Namoda, Maradun, Tsafe, and Zurmi are under control of trachoma disease hence no longer in need of preventive drug treatment.
“Our fight against NTDs requires sustained investment, innovation and intensified efforts to reach populations still living in marginalized and security-challenged areas.” She added.
“This day has also serves as a reminder of the ongoing battle against some of the most devastating, yet often overlooked, diseases affecting the world’s most vulnerable populations”.
She explained that the Zamfara state ministry of health in collaboration with Sightsavers every 30th January commemorating world tropical diseases with a view to sensitizing the general public and identify challenges and achievement in tackling the trend.