By Ogar Monday
Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) will be totally eliminated by the year 2020 says the Cross River State Government.
The state also says it is the first to have included NTDs in its Federal Government funded ‘Save One Million Lives’ Program.
The Health Commissioner, Dr. Inyang Asibong stated this during a two day training of Trainers workshop on Integrated Mass Administration of Medicines (MAMs) for NTDs held in Calabar, the Cross River State capital where she said the burden of NTDs in the state currently exceeds 2 million persons.
However, Asibong says treatment for NTDs has reached 1.9 million people from 1.3 in the previous year and disclosed the training will ensure hat more people are reached.
The Resident Program Advisor, Research Triangle Institute International, Ben Nwobi said NTDs have been allowed to cause havoc, because as the name suggest, they have been neglected.
Nwobi said the state is taking the right steps as the trainees will be expected to help the government reach its goal in the program which also includes raising awareness and the empowerment of the people.
One of the resource persons, Helen Nwokedi in her paper pointed out that the need to work with local communities and local health agents for effective community mobilization for MAMs cannot be underestimated.