Anambra State Health Ministry Cautions against Neglected Tropical Diseases
Chinwe Onuigbo, Awka
Anambra state ministry of health has cautioned the indigenes on the increasing dangers of Neglected Tropical Diseases. This was disclosed during the commemoration of the 2023 Neglected Tropical Diseases Day.
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Speaking during a press briefing to mark the event, the Anambra state Commissioner for Health, Dr Afam Obidike said that Neglected Tropical Diseases are a group of some twenty known parasitic bacteria, and viral diseases of health importance that affect over one billion people globally, with Africa and Asia reserving most of the disease burden due to their local epidemiological features that constantly drive fast spreading disease.
Dr. Obidike said that the disease is historically linked to poverty due to low social status, poor sanitation, inadequate water supply, substandard housing conditions which cause ill-health burden in endemic communities within the tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world.
According to the Health Commissioner, over six million individuals in three thousand, six hundred and forty-five villages in the twenty-one local governments of Anambra state are at risk of being infected with one or more Neglected Tropical Diseases,NTDs.
He said that the theme of the celebration which is “act now, act together, invest in Neglected Tropical Diseases is an opportunity to create awareness on the disease, and appreciated efforts of the government and the implementing partners, give more voice to community ownership that will drive sustainability and made it clear that elimination of NTDs is possible.
The Director of Public Health in the ministry, Dr. Afam Anaeme revealed that the celebration originally would have been on thirtieth January but was shifted because of some unforeseen circumstances and disclosed that NTDs are ravaging the society but a lot of people are not aware of it.
The event which was held at the Ministry of Health Complex, Jerome Udorji Secretariat, Awka, the state capital, saw staff of the ministry, students from the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, development partners among others in attendance.
The Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mrs Carol Njaka was also present during the event. The question and answer section climaxed the occasion.