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Stakeholders Lament Over Paucity, Epileptic Release of Budget For Neglected Tropical Diseases



Stakeholders Lament Over Paucity, Epileptic Release of Budget For Neglected Tropical Diseases stakeholders call for ownership of NTD treatments

By Aminat Aminu

Stakeholders in the health sector have lamented over the paucity and epileptic nature of budget released for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) in Nigeria.

This, the stakeholders says has resulted in the spike in the numbers of Nigerians infected with NTDs as statistics already showed that about 122 million people in Nigeria are at the risk of being infected.

ROYAL NEWS reports that the five most common NTDs in Nigeria include: Lymphatic Filariasis, Onchocerciasis (River blindness), Schistosomiasis, Soil Transmitted Helminthes, and Trachoma.

The Deputy Director National Scistosomiasis/Soil Transmitted Helminthes elimination programme, Dr. Obiageli Nebe, spoke on Tuesday at a media dialogue organised by the United Nations Childrens Fund UNICEF, holding in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State.

She noted that paucity of fund and lack of fund released by the federal government hampers the success rate in the elimination of NTDs in Nigeria.

She said: “While budget allocation for NTDs is characterised by paucity at federal level, the worst is the case for some states as they are not ready to take ownership of NTDs in the process of eradication of the disease.

“Shistosomiasis: as defined by WHO, is an acute and chronic disease caused by parasitic worms as defined by WHO, while Soil Transmitted Helminthes is a form of NTDs caused by different species of parasitic worms which are transmitted by eggs present in human faeces, which contaminate the soil in areas where sanitation is poor.”

Also speaking, UNICEF WASH Specialist, Mr. Bioye Ogunjobi, explained that the non-release of counterpart fundings and lack of political will in some parts of the country as well as the mindset of the people in owning NTDs prevention and elimination is a big challenge hampering the successful prevention and elimination of NTDs.

The National Coordinator of NTDs, Dr. Nseobong Akpan, in a counter move said that Nigeria is battling with the management of 15 out of the 20 identified NTDs, and the government of Nigeria is putting in place several measures to prevent and manage NTDs cases across Nigeria.

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