Adamawa Commissioner for Health, Prof. Abdullahi Isa, said all the 21 LGAs in the state are endemic to schistosomiasis, a tropical disease.
Isa made this known in Yola in his speech to mark 2020 World Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) Day, organized by the Ministry of Health in conjunction with the state chapter of Parasitology and Public Health Society of Nigeria (PPSN ).
Isa said other NTDs endemic in the state included Onchocerciasis in 17 LGAs, Lymphatic Filariasis in 18 LGAs and Soil Transmitted Helmintis (STH) in three LGAs.
“In Adamawa State 17 LGAs are endemic for Onchocerciasis, 18 LGA for Lymphatic filariasis, 21 LGA endemic for Schistosomiasis and 3 LGA is endemic for STH”, Isa said.
While noting that NTDs pose a devastating obstacle to Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and remain a serious impediment to poverty reduction, economic growth and social development, Isa said they were called “neglected” because they affected the poor and received less attention than other diseases.
“They are prevalent in tropical environments, especially in communities with poor sanitation, lack of portable water and deficient health care access. They are called ‘neglected’ because they generally afflict the world’s poorest and have received less attention than other diseases.
“The disease cause disability, stigmatization, school and work absenteeism, low wage earnings, increased healthcare spending, family impoverishment, low national productivity, long-term suffering and death”, the commissioner said.
He noted that the Federal Government had allocated the state 6,278,750 tablets of ivermectin, 2,264,122 tablets of Albendazole and 263,000 tablets of Praziquantel in 2019 to combat Onchoceriasis and Lymphatic filariasis.
“Therefore, this inaugural World NTD Day presents a golden opportunity for the state to scale up advocacy to stakeholders, communication and Social Mobilization (ACSM) efforts so as to make the fight against NTDs a priority item on the agenda of all stakeholders and thereby end the chronic neglect associated with NTDs, in line with Sustainable Development Goals.
“While governments at all levels, in collaboration with its non-governmental partners strive towards the control and elimination of NTDs; we call on individuals and communities to step-up their roles which are often simple, through:
“Cooperating with relevant government agencies and their partners, encouraging up-take of available interventions like preventive medicines, improved personal hygiene such as frequent and proper hand washing.
“Food and water hygiene – proper cleaning, cooking and preservation of consumables, environmental and sanitation including avoidance of open defecation and prompt reporting of ill-health to the nearest health facility,” the commissioner said.
This year’s theme for the NTDs Day is “Beat NTDs: For Good: For All’.