The Edo State government has stepped up efforts to address the issue of the rising cases of endemic Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) like onchocerciasis, soil-transmitted helminths, and lymphatic filariasis in eight local government areas. Their plans include offering free medications to patients in 8 Local governments in Akoko Edo, Ovia North-East, Ovia South-West, Etsako East, Owan East, Esan South-East, Uhunmwode, and Owan are affected.
Why this Matter
Dr. Otaniyenuwa Eloghosa Obarisiagbon, the Executive Secretary of the Edo State Primary Health Care Development Agency (EDSPHCDA), stated that the intervention programme was a part of Governor Godwin Obaseki’s initiative to enhance the provision of high-quality healthcare services in the state.
In order to guarantee that the state achieves reasonable control of the diseases in record time, Obarisiagbon stated that the agency was collaborating with the Carter Centre to deliver free medications.
Onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis, and soil-transmitted helminths are the four neglected tropical diseases that the Carter Center has been assisting the Edo State government in eradicating over the years, she added.
Mrs. Happy Poko, the NTD coordinator for Edo State, emphasized that in order to combat the diseases and achieve their eradication by 2025, it was imperative to lessen the morbidity they caused in the endemic local government areas.
According to Poko, Simulium black flies’ repeated bites are how onchocerciasis spreads. The black fly that spreads the sickness thrives and breeds in swiftly moving streams and rivers, primarily close to isolated rural settlements, which is why the illness is known as river blindness, the source explained.
“The culex mosquito, which is more prevalent in urban and semi-urban regions, and the anopheles mosquito, which is primarily found in rural areas, both transmit lymphatic filariasis. According to her, lymphatic filariasis can become chronic and result in hydrocele, lymphoedema, or elephantiasis of the limbs.
The disease, according to her, “also affects the breasts and genital organs, body deformities that cause social stigma and less-than-optimal mental health, loss of income-earning options, and increased medical costs for patients and their caregivers.”