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‘Check Five NTDs, Save $12bn, 23 million Lives’

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Nigeria  is in a position to
save $12 billion just by making deliberate and sustained efforts at controlling or eliminating the five most common Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).
This revelation was contained in  new data released recently at an event hosted by the End fund, an international philanthropic organisation, alongside the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa in Kigali, Rwanda, and made available to The Tide. The data, which was  developed by Kigali-based Erasmus University, with support from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, states that sub-saharan Africa as a whole could save $52 billion from doing same.
This is, however, dependent on if the continent meets the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s 2020 targets of controlling or eliminating the five most common NTDs.
The diseases are: Lymphatic filariasis, commonly known as elephantiasis; onchocerciasis (River Blindness); Schistosomiasis (Bilharzia); Soil-Transmitted Helminths (intestinal worms); and Trachoma.
According to the data, if Nigeria is able to meet the WHO’s 2020 targets of controlling or eliminating the five most common NTDs, the country will also avert the equivalent of over 23 million years of life that would have otherwise been lost to ill-health, disability and early death.
The WEF Africa-sanctioned event, convened by the END fund, was aimed at making a case for increased investment in NTD Control in Sub-Saharan Africa.
In her opening remark at the event, the First Lady of Rwanda, Mrs Jeannette Kagame, set the stage for the important discussion.
She noted that meeting the WHO’s 2020 targets could also help Sub-Saharan Africa gain the equivalent of 100 million life-years that would otherwise be lost to ill-health, disability and early death arising from the five most common NTDs.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Chief Executive Officer of the END fund, Ellen Agler, noted that “NTD control efforts offer a return on investment, unparalleled in global health”.
She added that, “ending these debilitating diseases will help reduce poverty at all levels, from families and communities to whole nations”.
Fortunately for Nigeria, though the country is affected by all five diseases, much work is on-going to prevent and treat NTDs.
The NTDs are a diverse group of parasitic and bacterial infectious diseases that are particularly prevalent in areas with limited access to safe water, proper sanitation, and adequate medical services.

 

Sogbeba Dokubo

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HIV: FG Restates Commitment To Prevent HIV Among Adolescents

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The Federal Government yesterday restated its commitment to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS among adolescents in the country.
The Ministry of Health in collaboration with NACA, UNFPA, UNICEF, launched a document on prevention of HIV in Abuja.
The document is integrated into three titles; “The HIV Investment Case for Adolescents and Young People (2021-2025), The National Condom Operational Plan (2021-2025) and National Condom and Lubricants Quantification (2021-2025).”
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Sen. Yahaya Oloriegbe, identified condom as key in the prevention of the spread of HIV among young people.
Oloruigbe, who commended the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and partners for the effort, called for local production of condoms.
“We need to look inwards by encouraging local manufacturing of condoms in view of government’s dwindling resources, as well as breaking away from over dependence on international donors,” he said.
The Director General of NACA, Dr Gambo Aliyu,asserted the agency’s success in the containment of HIV through prevention and treatment responses.
Aliyu said that the country was committed to achieving the 2030 target of 95-95-95 through collaboration with stakeholders by investing in adolescents.
He added, “we have made huge success when it comes to treatment and prevention with drastic reduction in transmission.”
The NACA boss however affirmed the belief of the agency in using the document to achieve the 95-95-95 target for 2030.
Mrs Zainab Garba of the Federal Ministry of Health commended NACA for launching the document, saying it would enhance young people’s access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights.
Garba reiterated the importance of condom in reducing the spread of HIV and maternal deaths among young people, saying it was key in preventing all manners of sexually transmitted infections.

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Doctor Warns Against Indiscriminate Use Of Contraceptives

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A medical expert, Dr Umar Musa, on Monday warned women against indiscriminate use of contraceptives.
Dr Musa, President, Kaduna State Resident Doctors Association, gave the advice when he spoke with newsmen in Kaduna, noted the indiscriminate consumption of contraceptives to ward off unwanted pregnancies and cautioned that while they could forestall unwanted pregnancies, contraceptives were not antidotes for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
He said there was a particular contraceptive pill in hot demand, but also cautioned that its indiscriminate consumption could delay conception or damage the uterus.
“Too much of this contraceptive will weaken the wall of the womb and damage the uterus which will cause miscarriages in the future.
“There are lots of risks associated with the constant use of this drug. Most ladies consume contraceptives in clinically unsafe ways.
“They use these drugs without knowing the way they interact with the body system and forgetting that people react to drugs in different ways,’’ he said.
Musa also advocated tighter restrictions on the sale of contraceptives and suggested that the use of condoms was an option to stave off unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.
“While a condom may look like a major inconvenience and a fun killer for many, it would protect one from sexually transmitted diseases and prevent pregnancy”.

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Covid-19: NCDC Records 213 New Infections, Two Deaths

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Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) recorded 213 additional new cases of Covid-19, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 171, 324, as of July 26, 2021.
The NCDC disclosed this on its official Twitter handle yesterday morning.
The health agency also stated that it recorded two Covid-19 related deaths on Monday, while additional nine people recovered from the virus, as of July 26, 2021.
It added that the new infections were recorded in 12 states, namely: Lagos-157, Rivers-20, Plateau-12, Enugu-6, Oyo-6, Gombe-3, Bauchi-2, Imo-2, Kaduna-2, Edo-1, Ekiti-1, and Ogun-1.
It noted that since the outbreak of the Coronavirus Disease in the country on February 27, 2020, a total of 2,134 persons lost their lives, while 164,798 recovered from the virus and discharged from health centres across the country.
NCDC added that a multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre (EOC), activated at Level 2, had continued to coordinate the national response activities.
It stated  that the country tested more than 2.4 million samples for the virus and had detected 10 Covid-19 Delta variant, recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a variant of concern, given its increased transmissibility.
The variant had been detected in over 100 countries and may spread further.
The variant has also been linked to a surge in cases in countries where it is the dominant strain in circulation. There are ongoing studies to understand the impact of the variant on existing vaccines and therapeutics.

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