By Jonathan Ugbal; Government House Correspondent
Cross River Governor, Senator Ben Ayade will, barring any last minute change, jet out of Nigeria to Geneva, Switzerland within 48 hours as he is scheduled to address a summit on Neglected Tropical Diseases.
The summit organized and hosted by the Uniting to Combat NTDs, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the NTD community is in its 5th edition and is slated for Wednesday, March 19 to Saturday, March 22, 2017.
A Global Partners Meeting slated for Tuesday, March 18, 2017 at the WHO headquarters in Geneva where Ayade is scheduled to speak in an interactive conversation on progress and challenges involving the likes of Rt. Honorable Priti Patel, the secretary of state for international development in the United Kingdom, Ethiopia’s health minister, professor Yifru Berhan and his Nigerian counterpart, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Rivers State Governor, Barrister Nyesom Wike among others according to the WHO.
The summit aims at celebrating the idea birthing it in the past 5 years and brainstorm on the way forward as one of its goals is to “control, eradicate and eliminate 10 tropical diseases,” said unitingtocombatntds.org.
This will be the second time in 2017 Ayade is jetting out of the country with many wondering why he stayed so long.
The trip to Geneva comes weeks after the state had announced plans to completely tackle the menace of NTDs by the year 2020.
CrossRiverWatch had also reported that Onchocerciasis, or River Blindness as it is popularly referred to is prevalent in over 15 local government areas out of 18.
The state also said that Soil Transmitted Helminths (STH), Lymphatic Filariasis and Schistosomiasis among Onchocerciasis form the priority.