Nigeria Launches 2023-2027 Neglected Topical Disease Master-plan

Edward Samuel, Abuja

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The Nigerian Government has launched its 2023 to 2027 master plans on Neglected Tropical Diseases, (NTDs) in the country. Launching the plans in Abuja during the 2023 World NTD day, the Minster of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire says Nigeria has reviewed its NTD Masterplan 2023–2027 and enjoins stakeholders to use the document as a guide for the attainment of the countries goals.

READ ALSONigeria reviews Neglected Tropical Disease Master plan 2022-2026


Dr Ehanire said Nigeria in its collective commitment to partnership for ownership of the strategic document has supported efforts of other disease endemic nations in contributing to the development of the “Kigali Declaration on NTDs. According to the Minister, the efforts are proves of it dedication to the WHO road map to end NTDs by 2030.

“Substantial progress has been made in the past decade, evidenced by the Guinea Worm Disease eradication in 2013, onchocerciasis transmission elimination in Plateau and Nasarawa States in 2019, with imminent prospects of Kaduna, Kebbi and Zamfara States being free of the disease soon, leaving us with fewer endemic states, and over 28 million persons no longer needing treatment”. He said.

Achievements On NTDs

Ehanire reeled out other achievements by the ministry of health these includes the epidemiological mapping of preventable NTDs in all the 774 LGAs, the ongoing Mass Administration of medicines in school-based and community de-worming programmes, the Mass Drug Administration for Lymphatic Filariasis, Schistosomiasis and the 106 of 126 Trachoma endemic LGAs ending treatment and attaining elimination threshold, with 30 million persons, who were at risk of going blind from trachoma, reducing their risk to about 3.5 million.

Dr. Osagie further stated that the NTD Programme has managed 70% of 200,000 persons in the backlog for trachoma surgeries and the National Policy and Training Manuals on Snakebite management developed along with procurement of Anti-Snake venom (ASV) and Anti-rabies vaccines distributed to designated Health Facilities in all the 6 geopolitical zones in the country.

“I use this opportunity to thank our Development Partners (WHO, UNICEF) USAID, organised private sector, and NGDOs, for the support and contributions for NTDs elimination efforts. I call on Media and relevant MDAs to assist in raising awareness and supporting our quest to prevent NTDs in Nigeria”. He added.

Speaking during the lunch, the Minister of State for Health, Joseph Ekumankama, said that the efforts put in place by the government to deal with NTDs have started yielding results as the burden of the diseases is reducing drastically in some states.
“I am optimistic that with the rate at which the government is tackling this disease, the country would soon meet up with the global target of eliminating some of these diseases before the end of 2030”. He said.

WASH & NTDs Program

The Minister of State for Health reiterated that the NTDs program needed strong sector collaboration and good innovative practices, especially in areas of Water, and sanitation department Hygiene (WASH) practices while the case management component of NTDs needs to be effectively supported for implementation at all levels.
The National professional officer, Neglected Topical Disease, (NTD), World Health Organization (WHO), Dr Aliyu Suleiman said in 2022, Nigeria conducted an assessment for lymphatic filariasis in 200 LGAs out of 583 endemic LGAs.
“As of today, we have less than 300 LGAs needing assessment before stopping mass drug administration for this disease”. He said.

Suleiman added that the WHO is advocating for the NTD stakeholders and the country to Keep NTD services accessible through innovation, strengthen NTD integration, cross-sector collaborations and mainstreaming, for stronger country ownership and accountability and Invest sustainably in NTDs for the best returns.

We ask that Nigeria stay committed to the delivery on NTD road map 2021-2030 especially with the launch of the 2023-2027 master plans to address shortages of funds and medicines and foster partnerships.”

2023 NTD Day
The theme of the 2023 NTD Day is: “Act now. Act together. Invest in Neglected Tropical Diseases” and it supports efforts to keep 2030 targets on track with innovative and sustainable financing.
The NTD day also re-energizes the momentum to end the suffering from these 20 diseases, caused by a variety of pathogens, viruses, bacteria, parasites, fungi and toxins.
The significance of World NTD Day is to renew global and national awareness of the magnitude of NTDs and also present opportunities to highlight progress made, and challenges met in policy direction and advocate support for prevention, control, and elimination efforts.