FCTA Strives To End Neglected Diseases In Gwagwalada, Provides Free Drugs

By: Prudence Okonna

The Federal Capital Territory Administration is assiduously working to end or at best reduce the impact of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) in Gwagwalada Area Council.

Accordingly, part of the measures adopted to achieve this is by providing free drugs and promoting personal hygiene for the improvement of the lives of residents in the Council.

Coordinator of FCT NTDs, Public Health Department, Dr. Eunice Ogundipe, revealed this during a sensitization outreach, at the Palace of Aguma of Gwagwalada, Abuja, Tuesday.

The Coordinator said that Gwagwalada had been spotlighted by researchers as one of the most endemic of the six Area Councils out of the four predominant Neglected Tropical Diseases namely Schistosomiasis, River Blindness, Onchocerciasis, and Lymphatic Filariasis.

She said the essence of the visit is premised on the burden of Schistosomiasis and Soil Transmitted Helminthiasis (Intestinal Helminthiasis) in Gwagwalada Area Council; adding that by sensitizing the residents and providing free medicines, the impact of NTDs will be reduced to the barest minimum.

Ogundipe called on Non-governmental partners, Private organizations, and individuals to contribute their quota to ensure that the diseases are eliminated, by following the direction of the 2024 theme “Unite to Act towards Elimination of NTDs”.

Also speaking, Chairman of the State Technical Advisory Committee on NTDs (STACON), Professor Yoila Malann, said that ignoring personal hygiene remains a hindrance to eliminating NTDs in FCT; noting that it thrives in rural communities where Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities are lacking.

Malann, who is also a Professor of Parasitology at the University of Abuja, Said due to the high morbidity and low mortality of the diseases, they linger in the body before they become visible.

He, therefore, charged residents to take responsibility by ensuring all-round hygiene of themselves and their environment.

His words: “I want to encourage you to prioritize personal hygiene through regular hand washing, proper washing of fruits and vegetables, and proper cleaning of your environment, which will help to curtail the spread of these diseases”.

Responding, the Representative of the Aguma of Gwagalada, and the District Head of Gwagwalada, Alhaji Muhammad Lakayi expressed gratitude to the Public Health team for educating the residents and giving them free medicines.

The Royal Father charged the residents to adhere to the messages from the sensitization, especially in prioritizing personal hygiene as it will protect them from contracting these diseases.

Abuja Digest reports that about 200 residents of Gwagwalada Area Council received free medicines targeted at Intestinal Worms.

Abuja Digest further reports that the United Nations is targeting 2030 as the year, Neglected Tropical Diseases will be eliminated around the World.