Concise News reports that the Benue State Coordinator of the programme Debam Terhemba discloses this during a presentation of a 2019 report on the intervention on the diseases in the state at the Benue State NTDs 2019 Annual Review and Planning Meeting in Makurdi the Benue State capital.
According to him, the endemic diseases include Lymphatic Filariasis, Onchocerciasis, Schistosomiasis, Soil Transmitted Helminthes and Trachoma. He explains that the NTDs are group of communicable parasitic, bacterial and viral diseases affecting the poorest and marginalised populations in rural and urban areas, having various clinical complications such as hydrocele and anaemia, with severe socio-economic consequences.
“These diseases if not taken care of result in blindness, disability, stigmatization, exclusion and are often lives threatening at later stages” he states. The Benue State NTDs Coordinator notes that NTDs rank among the top four most devastating groups of communicable disease along with diarrheal diseases, HIV/AIDS & lower respiratory infections.
He advances five key strategies enunciated by World Health Organisation (WHO) for addressing and tackling NTDs to include preventive chemotherapy (PCT), innovative/intensive disease management, veterinary public health services, integrated vector control and water sanitation and hygiene (WASH).
Therefore, Debam calls for the strengthening of inter-sector collaboration, intensive advocacy to key stakeholders so as to secure their commitment and support as well as a report of suspected cases of IDM NTDs and morbidities management cases to the state for forwarding to WHO, UNICEF, SS & FMOH for the eradication of the diseases.
In his remarks, the Director of Public Health in the state Dr Terna Kur commends NTDs programme for its intervention in the area in order to ensure that the diseases are eradicated. According to Dr Kur, the Benue State Government is determined to carry all the stakeholders around in its efforts to ensuring access to healthcare delivery to the people of the state.
While appreciating participants at the annual review and planning meeting Dr Kur also encourages them to ensure that nothing is left behind to sustain NTDs programme in the state.
Meanwhile, the National Coordinator of NTDs Dr Chukwuma Anyieke also urges participants to strive to eliminate the diseases in the state and Nigeria.
Dr Anyieke, who was represented by the North Central Coordinator of the programme, Tukur Muhammed Ali commends those involved in the implementation of the programme in the state for the good work they have done and expresses hope that they will do better this year.