From: JUDEX OKORO, Calabar
The Cross River State Government says about two million people in the state are living with neglected tropical disease. But the government added that by 2020, the diseases would have been totally eliminated.
Health Commissioner, Dr. Inyang Asibong, who made the disclosure during a two day training of Trainers workshop on Integrated Mass Administration of Medicines (MAMs) for NTDs held in Calabar, said the state was the first to have included NTDs in its Federal Government funded ‘Save One Million Lives’ Program.
Asibong said: “The burden of NTDs in the state currently exceeds 2 million persons. However, Asibong said the treatment for NTDs has reached 1.9 million people from 1.3 in the previous year and that more people will be reached.”
Speaking also, 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 was taking the right steps as the trainees would 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 said there is need to work with local communities and local health agents for effective community mobilization for MAMs cannot be underestimated.