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EDSPHCDA partners Carter Centre to tackle Neglected Tropical Diseases in Edo

Joel Osaigbovo Aluge, Reporting, Benin City

While speaking on “The Challenge of Neglected Tropical Diseases”, Dr. Alli said, “Neglected Tropical Diseases are a group of debilitating illnesses that disproportionately affect the world’s most vulnerable populations. These diseases thrive in poverty-stricken areas, where access to healthcare is limited, and resources are scarce. Edo State, like many other regions, faces the burden of NTDs, impacting the lives of our citizens and hindering socio-economic development.”

The Honourable Commissioner for Health highlighted Edo State Government’s concerted collaborative efforts in the fight against NTDs, noting that its partnership with the Carter Center has been instrumental in advancing its goals.

He further shared some key achievements of the Godwin Obaseki-led Government which include:

1. Guinea Worm Eradication: The Carter Center-led campaign has averted at least 80 million cases of Guinea worm disease among the world’s poorest people. This remarkable achievement demonstrates our commitment to eliminating this devastating disease.

2. Distribution of Medicines: With the assistance of The Carter Center, we have distributed over 800 million doses of medicine to prevent NTDs. These efforts have reached even the most remote communities, ensuring equitable access to treatment.
River Blindness Control: Our collaboration has facilitated the distribution of more than 500 million Mectizan®️ treatments in Africa and the Americas. Together, we are stamping out this dreadful parasitic infection.

4. Lymphatic Filariasis Elimination: We are working tirelessly to eliminate this debilitating parasitic disease from areas of Ethiopia, Nigeria, and the island of Hispaniola. Our approach incorporates mental health components, recognizing the link between disfigurement and stigma.

5. Schistosomiasis Education and Treatment: Our long-running initiative in Nigeria has significantly reduced blood in schoolchildren’s urine—a telltale sign of schistosomiasis infection.

On “The Road Ahead”, Dr. Alli Said, “As we inaugurate the State Steering Committee for NTD control, let us reaffirm our commitment to the health of our people. Together, we will:

– Strengthen surveillance and early detection.

– Improve access to treatment and preventive measures.

– Raise awareness about NTDs and combat stigma.

– Collaborate with communities, healthcare providers, and partners.

“Our journey to control and eliminate NTDs is not without challenges, but with unwavering dedication and strategic partnerships, we can transform the landscape of public health in Edo State.”

“Let us march forward, guided by compassion, science, and the vision of a healthier, more resilient future for all,” he remarked.

Mrs. Happy Poko, Edo NTD Coordinator, spoke on the progress of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) in the state hereafter, the State Technical Advisory Committee split into groups to develop the NTD Master Plan for Edo State.

On her part, the Co-chair of the Technical Steering Committee, Prof Vivian Omuemu, gave an acceptance speech on behalf of the committee and thanked the State government for finding the committee members worthy of the role. She pledged to ensure that NTDs were brought to the barest minimum in the State by 2027 when the current State NTD control master plan ends.



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