Bauchi Health Agency Marks World NTD Day, Cautions on Strange Illness
By Bashir Hassan Hassan
Bauchi State Primary Health Care Development Agency (BSPHCDA) has commemorate this year’s World Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) Day with a call on the citizens of the state to be cautious of a strange illness causing swelling of legs discovered in Kirfi LGA of the state and report such cases for prompt action by the Agency.
The call was made by the Executive Chairman of BASPHCDA, Dr Rilwanu Mohammed while briefing news men on the commemoration of the 2021 NTD held on Monday.
Dr. Mohammed said that the world over, mostly tropical environment in communities with poor sanitation and lack of potable water, over 1 billion people are suffering from the NTDs while in Bauchi state, the number is over 1 million.
While listing some of the NTDs to include: Onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis, soil transmitted helminths, trachoma, shistosomiasis, buruli ulcer, snake bite, leprosy, human African tryphanomiasis, Guinea worm, yaws and loiasis, he said that with good sanitation and proper hygiene, the diseases can be checked.
He pointed out that as of now, Bauchi State has onchocerciasis in 12 LGAs; Lymphatic filariasis in 11 LGAs; Shistosomiasis in 16 LGAs, Trachoma in 2 LGAs while Guinea worm has already been eradicated in Nigeria as a whole.
Rilwanu Mohammed added that for the morbidity management and prevention, the state is working with UNICEF and a local NGO, Mission To Save the Helpless (MITOSATH).
For the 2020 treatment cycle, he said that the state was able to collect and distribute 9 million tables of ivermecin; 1.9m tablets of Albedazole; 1.7m tablets of Praziquantel; 18 motorcycles for NTDs endemic LGAs; trained 500 health workers on NTD medicines supply chain management and 500 community volunteers on hygiene promotion on collaboration with RUWASSA.
“Generally, the state is making progress on elimination of this preventive chemotherapy NTDs, as Oncho is about to be eliminated in the state. 3 epidemiological surveys have equally been carried out, 2 were successful and we are waiting for the results of the third.
“AlsoTransmission Assessment Survey for Trachoma was carried out in Shira and Tafawa Balewa LGAs and were successful”, the Executive Chairman said.
He further disclosed that pre-transmission assessment survey was done in Giade, Bogoro, Tafawa Balewa and Itas/Gadau LGAs in 2018 to 2019 during which only Bogoro failed while for 2020, Misau, Warji and Bogoro will be done this February.
Rilwanu Mohammed then enjoined people to imbibe the culture of healthy living, keep their environment clean always in order to minimize the risk of getting infected just as he encouraged them to always report any strange disease to the agency for prompt action.
On the strange illness he said,” we are suspecting onchocerciasis or lymphatic filariasis considering that the Kirfi LGA is one of the LGAs that have the cases of those tropical diseases. As soon as we get the results of the investigation, we will take prompt action to curb it”.