Stakeholders have called for more funding to combat Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) which disproportionately impact women and children.
This is even as Nigerians suffering from NTDs have also cried out to the federal government for more funding to be put towards combating the diseases.
Speaking on the sidelines of a high-level roundtable meeting on eliminating NTDs in Nigeria, one of the people experiencing NTDs, Yakubu Ihaire, said “I started having pains on the leg in 1982. Several attempts to treat it in the hospital proved abortive.”
Ihaire noted that lack of awareness or inability to diagnose the disease earlier caused a lot of setback in the country.
He further stated that, “Elephanticide is a disease for the poor and they are been taken care of at the Primary Health Centers (PHCs) but because the PHCs were weak, patients find it difficult to get treatment.
“The federal government needs to strengthen the PHCs by providing drugs and personnel. There is poor funding at the PHCs.
“There is need to channel energy to enlighten people on NTDs in the country to enable us as a country to eliminate these diseases.”
Also, Amina Maidaji from Gwagwalada, FCT Abuja, said she had suffered leg pain for almost 20 years which had affected her economic activities.
Maidaji added that she was a bit relieved now because of the medications and intervention that come once in awhile which had helped her to be able to do some activities.
While Yahaya Zakari said he has been suffering for elephanticides for the past 30 years.
Meanwhile, Sen. Ibrahim Oloriegbe, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, disclosed that medical commodities for NTDs expiring in the Ministry of Health’s warehouses would no longer be acceptable, for any reason.
Oloriegbe said that developing NTD national strategic plans should be implemented and not just an academic exercise for archiving.