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World Neglected Tropical Disease Day: Imo to treat over 3m persons

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AS IMO State joins the rest of the world to mark 2022 World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day, vowing to use every power at its disposal to ensure total eradication of these tropical diseases. 

   This is as the state Ministry of Health disclosed its plans to treat 3,967,320 persons for lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasts with over 4million tablets of albendazole and over 12 million tablets of ivermeetin, while 1,640,808 children of school age would receive treatment for soil transmitted diseases.

Imo State Commissioner for Health, Prosper Ohayagha Success, while briefing journalists in Owerri, said that the state was making significant progress towards elimination of those diseases through annual distribution of NTD’s medicine which are administered free of charge, adding that the event was celebrated every January 30.

Dr. Success, who described NTDs as infections, group of communicable diseases that is common in the tropics and low income parts of Africa and Asia, which affects over one million people worldwide, adding that this year’s theme, “Achieving high health quality to end the neglect of poverty related diseases” was apt.

 He averred that NTDs is neglected because they generally affect the world’s poorest and historically had not received as much attention as other diseases. NTDs causes stigmatisation, school and work absenteeism, low earnings, increased healthcare spending, low national productivity, long term suffering and even death.

 According to the commissioner, about 4 million persons in the 27 local government area of Imo State are at risk of one or more of these diseases, adding that the state, through the Ministry of Health and in partnership with Carter Centre (NGO) had since 1998, engaged in war against these diseases.

In 2021, it could be recalled, Governor Hope Uzodinma, in conjunction with Carter Foundation distributed over 3.5 million tablets of ivermeetin in which 1.3 million people were treated of ochocerciasis and lymphatic filairiasis out of 1.5 million targeted for the treatment, 400,000 school children were treated of soil transmitted Helminthes out of the estimated 43,000”.

 Earlier, Director of Public Health in the Ministry of Health had called on Imolites to partner the state to fight against these diseases and thanked the governor for his part and urged him to sustain it.

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