Stakeholders Seeks Funding As Cross River Marks World Neglected Tropical Disease Day

By Simon Ushie

An estimate of One in every walking Five people globally are said to be suffering from some form of Neglected Tropical Disease with a higher percentage of patients residing in poor income countries of the world.

Globally, January 30th has been set aside to mark the “World Neglected Tropical Disease Day” with stakeholders uniting to chat a new course towards reduction and possible elimination of these “stigma ” bound diseases which leaves patients socially excluded from other people.

In Cross River State, the day was marked with deep sense of reflection on the dangers these ailments poses to communities as greater attention was given in alignment to this year’s theme, “Achieving Health Equity To End The Neglect Of Poverty Related Diseases” with various speakers sharing their thoughts.

Addressing participants and stakeholders the lead to whom greater responsibility rest upon in the sensitization, awareness creation, prevention, detection, care and treatment of these diseases, Director General of the Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency,.
Dr Janet Ekpenyong calls for greater resource mobilization from partners for cohesive and radical fight against Neglected Tropical Diseases.

The DG noted that, although much resources is already earmarked towards the cause, improved budgetry provision should be made in order to help incorporate NTDs with other common diseases which are highly sort after in the Primary Healthcare facilities.

She said, the state is commited towards fighting these disease as it has shown commitment through the appointment of Community Informants, NTD focal persons in all the LGAs which has contributed in improved surveillance and tackling suspected cases especially in Children.

“I’m proud of the outcome in recent survey as we saw the need to intensify surveillance in our various Communities through the appointment of Community Informants, NTD focal persons who go around enlightening people on the dangers of NTDs and administration of deworming tablets to children.
These diseases lead to high mortality in our Communities and that is why we are calling on all stakeholders to mobilize resources to fight the diseases, so that they are been tackled at the earliest stages and we will ensure they are integrated into Primary Healthcare services along other diseases”.
She thanked RTI for all their support in tackling NTDs in the state and their commitment to partner with the state to
Also speaking, the Chairman house committee on health, Dr Ekpo Ekpo Bassey, assured the participants that the house of assembly will ensure health is prioritized in the state budget and will also work with the ministry of health to include NTDs in the budget.
The Director of Public health reiterated the health sector commitment in ensuring that NTDs like other diseases will get the necessary attention. He also appreciated RTI for all their support to the state

Other speakers who spoke commended the Cross River State Government for timely interventions in Riverine Communities through aggressive mobilization of health workers in offering deworming tablets to pregnant women and children who are more prone to these infection.
They also called on Government to invest more in the health sector, to ensure those with NTDs have equitable access to health care services.
At the end of the forum, all parties present agreed to
1)Create sense of ownership and the drive the Neglected Tropical Disease program sustainability agenda In the state .
2)Advocate for state program counterparts funding and promote local resource mobilization for Neglected Tropical Disease elimination.
3) Consolidate on the state’s achievements in Creating more awareness and sensitize stakeholders towards complete elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases in Cross River State.

These diseases which are most predominate in rural Communities where water supply and sanitation are substandard are either being spread by Viruses, Bacteria, Parasites and can be minimized by observing personal and environmental hygiene.

Participants were drawn from the Federal and State ministries of Health, the Nigerian Medical Association, State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, UCTH Development Partners and other Private Medical Practitioners.


Development Consultant, Writer, Editor-In-Chief/Publisher, Public/ Motivational Speaker, Public Affairs Analyst/Commentator, Social Mobilizer of high repute.

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