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De-worming: Health unit urges FCT residents to participate

Feb, 2021 | By Prudence Okonna | ||

The Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) unit of the Public Health department, Health and Human Services Secretariat of the Federal Capital Territory Administration has called on residents in the FCT to take part in the de-worming exercise that is ongoing. This was disclosed during a press briefing by the Public Health Department and its partners recently, lamenting the information apathy about NTDs.

The Unit Coordinator, Mrs Ogundipe Eunice Bosede while addressing the press said due to poor awareness, people were not aware of these diseases. Ogundipe said in West African countries, Nigeria was the most burdened, adding that these diseases were parasitic bacterial infections that are prevalent in mainly poor and unhygienic environment. "Due to poor funding, the FCT Public Health Department has limited the fight against tropical diseases to only five, among which are snail fever, intestinal worm, elephantiasis, trachoma and liver plain."

Ogundipe said that the effect of these infections cannot be undermined and called on the media to take the lead in creating awareness to tackle these diseases. She said that the Department had since 2004 commenced an annual de-worming exercise, noting that these NTDs have low mortality with high mobility. She said all six area councils of the FCT are endemic with Gwagwalada area council as the highest, as such posing infection risk to the FCT environ.

The NTDs manager of the Health and Development Support Program (HANDS), Rinpan Ishaya in his address said that the aim of the program was to ensure that eligible persons were given the tablet free once every year. He noted that some of the challenges of the program were poor funding, parents and guardians' refusal to administer the tablets to their wards and lack of public sensitization. In his words "if someone gives you something free and you reject it, the person will feel unfulfilled".

He further stressed on the need for stakeholders to be involved in the fight against NTDs. "If we must meet the global goal of ending NTDs, we must make sure every eligible person takes the tablet". The NTD technical specialist, Christian Blind Missionary (CBM) Nigeria country office, Joseph Kumbur, raised issues of funding, complacency on the part of parents to allow their wards take the drugs but highlighted little or no effects from the drugs when taken.

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Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, has flagged off COVID-19 vaccination for residents of the Territory, just as she declared the safety of the vaccine.

Seven state Governors and one Deputy Governor graced the unveiling ceremony which was performed during the Nigerien President's visit to Nigeria. The unveiling was performed by the visiting President himself last week.

Minister of State, FCT, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, who flagged off the programme last week in Gwagwalada, affirmed that the initiative was a strategy to enhance social inclusion.


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