by Abba Kabara
About one hundred million people across the country are estimated to have been effected with one or more of the five identified Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD).
The acting zonal coordinator North-West for the control, treatment, and elimination of NTDs, Mr. Gambo Yakubu disclosed this at the weekend during a one-day stakeholders advocacy and engagement meeting held in Zamfara state capital Gusau.
The five neglected diseases he said include Lymphatic filariasis, Oncho, Schisto, Soil-transmitted Helminths and Trachoma which according to him, are highly pronounced in Zamfara state.
He attributed the NTD’S high density in Zamfara to lack of counter funding at both state and local government levels.
Yakubu explains that NTDs are a diverse group of diseases with distinct characteristics that thrive mainly among the poorest communities.
He further explains that the NTDs effected more than a billion people in 149 countries and cost developing countries billions of Dollars every year.
He drew the attention of stakeholders, particularly governments, that some of the NTDs like Trachoma, can lead to irreversible blindness in the absence of timely treatment.
The acting coordinator expressed disappointment that despite the huge amount of money running into billions spent on Zamfara targeted at the control and elimination of NTDs from the state, the counter funding budgeted by the state for this year was as meager #80m naira and which regrettably, “was not even released”.