6m patients treated for neglected tropical diseases in Katsina – Commissioner

Umahi legacy

 



 The Katsina State Government says that it has in the past six years treated about six million people suffering from various neglected tropical diseases.

The Commissioner for Health, Yahaya Nuhu-Danja, disclosed this on Monday in Katsina while briefing newsmen in commemoration of the World Day for Neglected Tropical Diseases .

According to him, the day is observed every Jan. 30, as set aside by the WHO to create awareness on the neglected diseases.

“Neglected tropical diseases are group of diseases that mostly affect developing countries and are strongly related to poverty, poor personal and environmental hygiene and also have less attention from the developed nations.

“Examples of such diseases are lymphatic, filariasis, schistosomiasis trachoma, soil transmitted helminthic (STH), onchocerciasis, guinea worm cutaneous, leishmaniasis, rabies  and snakebite.

“ These diseases cause disability, stigmatisation, school dropout and absenteeism, low wage earnings, and increased health care spending among families, long term suffering and even death.

“Statistics have shown that four of these diseases were prevalent and common in Katsina State, that is lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis, trachoma and soil transmitted helminths, scabies and buruli ulcer).

“The Federal Ministry of Health, Katsina State Ministry of Health and IIclen Keller International are presently working to reduce the burden of these diseases in the state through health education, training of healthcare workers, mass drug administration and surgeries.

“It is important to note that in the past six years, about six million children and adults were treated for the above-mentioned diseases through mass drug administration of both schools and communities in Katsina State,” he said.

The commissioner said that 8,969 people with trachoma benefited from trachomatous trichiasis surgery, preventing them from going blind.

Nuhu-Danja also revealed that about 8,000 healthcare workers and school teachers, as well as 67,682 community direct distributors and TT case finders were trained.

“I strongly call on the public to note that neglected tropical diseases are of public health importance and can be prevented through improved personal hygiene.

“They could be prevented through regular hand washing, facial washing, regular bathing, environmental sanitation, periodic medical check-up and engaging in mass drug administration,” the Commissioner pointed out. (NAN)