Report by Dorothy Onoja
Kogi State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Saka Haruna has appeal to member of the public upon to take their health issues very seriously, especially at this period of serious public health incidences.
The Commissioner who was represented by the Director Public Health, Dr Francis Akpa made the appeal at a press briefing organized to mark this year’s World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day with the theme ” Beats NTD: For Good. For All “.
He disclosed that mapping surveys of the State were conducted across the 21 Local Government Areas for Onchocerciasis (River blindness) in 1997, Lymphatic filariasis in 2022, Schistosomiasis and soil transmitted Helminths in 2014 that shows that Kogi State is endemic for the disease.
He said treatment has since began across the 21 Local Government Areas with issuance of drugs such as: Mectizan tablets for River blindness, Mectizan and Abendazole for Lymphatic filariasis, Praziquantel tablets for Schistosomiasis and Mebendazole for soil transmitted Helminths.
Dr Akpa added that commencement of the programme in the State is a milestone in eradicating the endemic in the State, stressing that State Government is in collaboration with the health stakeholders, who are committed to eliminate NTDs from the State.
The Public Health Director encouraged every eligible persons in the State to avail themselves with the opportunity provided by Government to take free Mectizan and Albendazole tablets for treatment and prevention of River blindness and Elephantiasis.
The State Coordinator NTD, Mr Alabi Albert who spoke on the importance of the World NTD day stated that Neglected Tropical Diseases poses a major obstacle to Universal Health Coverage, adding that NTD remains a serious impediment to poverty reduction, economic growth and social development of the population of the State.