By Justina Auta
An international NGO, Sightsavers Nigeria, has called on the government and other stakeholders to intensify efforts towards eliminating Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) in the country.
Its Communication Associate, Ms Joy Tarbo, made the call in a statement issued in Abuja ahead of the 2024 NTD day celebration, with a theme “Unite, Act and Eliminate through Awareness and Sensitisation”.
“We are urging governments, non-governmental organisations and the private sector to work together to speed up progress towards eliminating NTDs which are barriers to health, education and economic development,” she said.
Tarbo said since 2004, they had supported over 590 million treatments for trachoma, river blindness, lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis and intestinal worms, while 109,000 persons had surgery for advanced trachoma and hydrocele.
Dr Sunday Isiyaku, the Sightsavers Country Director, while reiterating their commitment towards prevention, treatment, and elimination of NTDs, stressed the need for collaboration and funding to achieve it.
“Our collective efforts are crucial in reaching the World Health Organisation’s 2030 targets and ensuring no one is left behind in the journey towards universal health coverage.
“Sightsavers Nigeria is calling for new funding, continued government leadership and support from partners to improve people’s lives, as well as their ability to contribute to their communities and the economy.
“In Nigeria we are specifically calling on philanthropists and private organisations to support the fight against NTDs – their backing can make a profound impact,” he said.
Dr Fatai Oyediran, the National Coordinator NTDs, Federal Ministry of Health and Social Services, said collaborations between NGOs, governments and communities would accelerate progress and eliminate NTDs.
He assured of the Federal Government’s continuous support to Sightsavers and all partners by providing the enabling environment and leadership direction that would fast track the elimination target by 2030. (NAN)
Edited by Chidinma Agu/Muhammad Suleim