Sightsavers Nigeria is rallying for a united front in the battle against Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), stressing the urgency of collaboration among the federal government, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector. In a compelling press statement by Joy Tarbo, the organization’s communication association, Sightsavers highlights the detrimental impact of NTDs on health, education, and economic development.
Emphasizing the call to action during the International Day of Neglected Tropical Diseases 2024, Sightsavers Nigeria aligns with the national theme “Unite, act and eliminate through awareness and sensitization.” The organization reaffirms its dedication to ambitious targets for the next decade, as articulated by Country Director Dr. Sunday Isiyaku.
Dr. Isiyaku underscores the global commitment to eliminating NTDs and the crucial role of collective efforts in meeting the World Health Organization’s 2030 targets. National Coordinator NTDs, Dr. Fatai Oyediran, commends Sightsavers’ commitment and underscores the imperative role of collaborations between NGOs, governments, and communities to accelerate progress.
Expressing the Federal Government’s support, aligned with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s renewed hope agenda, Coordinating Minister of Health & Social Welfare, Prof. Muhammad Ali Pate, emphasizes Nigeria’s commitment on the 5th World NTDs Day. Prof. Pate notes the substantial impact of these diseases on millions in Nigeria, constituting 25% of all NTD cases in Africa.
Addressing the significance of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) services in NTD control, Prof. Pate announces the establishment of a WASH-NTDs unit for comprehensive efforts. While acknowledging achievements such as the elimination of Onchocerciasis in two states and an 84% reduction in trachoma prevalence, Prof. Pate emphasizes the persistent challenges, including insufficient funding and security concerns in some areas.
Praising the 10-year NTDs roadmap by the World Health Organization (WHO), Prof. Pate unveils Nigeria’s NTD Master Plan 2023 – 2027 as a crucial advocacy tool. Despite progress, he calls for a united front, stressing the role of NTD control in achieving Sustainable Development Goals and poverty reduction.
Expressing gratitude to development partners, Prof. Pate calls on the media for support, underscoring the need for collective efforts to eliminate NTDs and enhance the overall well-being of affected populations. Sightsavers Nigeria stands at the forefront, urging a concerted effort to make a significant impact in the fight against Neglected Tropical Diseases.