About 100million people across the country are estimated to have been affected with one or more of the five identified Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).
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 Lymphaticfilariasis, Oncho, Schisto, soil transmitted Helminthes and Trachoma which according to him, are highly pronounced in Zamfara state.
He attributed the NTDs high density in Zamfara to lack of counterpart-funding at both state and local government levels.
Yakubu explained that NTDs are diverse groups of diseases with distinct characteristics that thrive mainly among the poorest communities.
He further explained that the NTDs have affected more than a billion people in 149 countries and cost developing countries billions of dollars every year.
He drew the attention of stakeholders, particularly responsible 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 counterpart funding budgeted by state for this year is a meagre N80million which regrettably, “was not even released.”
From Abba Kabara, Gusau