Dr Lar Ndam, Plateau health commissioner, has said that maintaining hygienic environments was key to preventing Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).
Ndam said this on Thursday in Jos, at a press briefing to mark the World Neglected Tropical Diseases day.
He said that the NTDs. which are communicable diseases, are usually prevalent in areas that had poor sanitation, inadequate or no safe water sources.
He advised people, especially those in the rural areas, to ensure that they maintained a high level of personal and community hygiene as a means of preventing the NTDs.
The commissioner, who was represented by the ministry’s permanent secretary, Dr. Martins Azzutu, said that the NTDs had been reported to cause debility and blindness in humans which curtail human potential and impede economic growth.
“Children are also affected by the NTDs which impair their developmental growth, intellectual development and their educational outcome,” he added.
He said that the Plateau government had made tremendous progress in curtailing the effects and transmission of some NTDs especially guinea worm, onchocerciasis (River Blindness), Lymphatic Filariasis (Elephantiasis), Trachoma and leprosy.
He recalled that Plateau, in 2019, received an award from the Federal Ministry of Health for its effective management of river blindness which led to its total elimination from the north-central state.
“To sustain the achievements, the state has initiated a border surveillance and treatment which is currently on-going across the state’s border communities. The goal is to rid the state of river blindness and elephantiasis,” he said.
The commissioner thanked various partners such as the Carter Centre Nigeria, the Federal Ministry of Health and NTD PC drug donors for their enormous support in the fight against the NTDs. (NAN)