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Fight Against NTDs: Osun Intensifies Campaigns, Drugs Distribution In Communities

The vast majority of people living in the rural areas in Nigeria and all over the world, are victims of Neglected Tropical Disease NTDs.

While all 30 local government areas of Osun State are endemic to Soil Transmitted Helminth (a parasitic roundworm or flatworm), 28 of them are affected by Onchocerciasis (river blindness) and Lymphatic Filarisis.

Osun State commissioner for health, Dr. Rafiu Isamotu confirmed these at a press conference organised to mark the year 2021 World NTDs Day.

He added that 27 local government areas of the State are also endemic to Schistosomiasis (blood after urine) mostly in children.

Neglected tropical diseases, NTDs are group of diseases caused by parasites, viruses and bacteria which cause blindness, disabilities and disfigure those suffering from them.

According to him, “the essence of World NTDs day is to bring together Civil Society Advocate, Community Leaders, Global Health Partners and Policy Makers working working across the diverse NTDs landscape and to unify partners behind the common goal of the WHO and to face NTDs and end the neglect”.

Dr. Isamotu noted that the State primary healthcare is now more capable to address critical elements of it services.

He said the government would focus on massive awareness creation and drugs administration to eradicate the diseases in all communities in the state.

“We will leverage on the attainment of the new roadmap and universal health coverage. Majority of the diseases could be best handled at the primary (healthcare) level. If they require surgery, they would be referred to secondary level where there are facilities and and personnel to handle them.

“As a responsible and responsive government, we are working tirelessly to fight NTDs from the neglected people down to the downtrodden who are at greater risk with emphasis on good environmental sanitation, water supply, war against deification, good personal hygiene with compliance to the COVID 19 guidelines”, Dr Isamotu said.

Speaking on the efforts of government in fighting NTDs, the State Coordinator, Dr. Yemi Ogundun disclosed that over 3 million eligible people have been given drugs in different communities.


Speaking on behalf of the President/Founder Chief Mrs Rita Oguntoyinbo, Osun state Coordinator for Amen Healthcare and Empowerment Foundation, a major partner with the state on NTDs, Emmanuel Mariere, emphasised renewed commitment of the team towards eliminating NTD’s in the state.

He said “since in 2018, we have carried out 5 mass administration of medicine across all thirty LGA’s of the state and bi annually to highly endemic LGAs.

“We are proud to inform you. We have recorded success, with one LGA, Odo-otin, passing pretreatment assessment for Lymphatic Filariasis (LF)

He said Amen Foundation would continue in the fight against NTDs by intensifying advocacy, sensitization, and multi sectoral collaboration to strengthen the efforts towards eliminating the diseases in the state.

Usually known to include elephantiasis, enlarged scrotum, leprosy, round and flat worms, river blindness among others, according to the WHO, NTDs threaten more than 1.7billion people living in the poorest and most marginalized communities worldwide.


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