The Public Health Department of the Federal Capital Territory Authority (FCTA) has commenced its annual house-to-house treatment of onchocerciasis (river blindness) and lymphatic filaris (elephantiasis) disease for persons above five years.
The Acting Secretary, Health and Human Services Secretariat, Dr Mohammed Kawu, said this on Tuesday at the inauguration of the exercise in Kuchigoro community, Abuja.
Kawu said the exercise was under the 2021 Mass Administration of Medicine (MAM) for onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis.
The Acting Secretary was represented by Dr Doris John, Ag Director, and Public Health Department.
John said the exercise was part of the control strategy by the government to prevent, reduce the spread and eradicate some of the Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).
He associated the disease with poverty, areas that have poor sanitation, inadequate or lack of safe water sources and sub-standard housing conditions, which were more prevalent amongst low-income populations in Africa.
Kawu, while commending the Federal Ministry of Health and international NGOs for its supports towards curtailing the disease, urged the public to cooperate with the Community Directed Distributors (CDD) and health workers to administer the medicines.
Also, Abdrahman Sadiq, Head Public Health Department, FCTA, disclosed that elephantiasis was endemic in Abaji, Bwari, Gwagwlada and like area councils, while river blindness is endemic in all the six area councils.
Sadiq was represented by Musa Alhassan, Deputy Director, Disease Control Division, Public Health Department, and FCTA.
“Presently Lymphatic Filariasis disease is endemic in Abaji, Bwari, Gwagwlada and like area councils, while onchocerciasis is endemic in all the six area councils,” Sadiq said.
He explained that the department with the support of an International organisation, Christofel Blinden Mission (CBM) would give out free medication, treated mosquito nets to prevent the spread of malaria.
The CBM Country Director, Dr Bright Ekweremadu, represented by Mr Joseph Kumbur, Neglected Tropical Disease (NTDs) expressed their commitment towards improving the health status of the nation.
The Chief of Kuchigoro community, Ibrahim Wanbi, expressed appreciation to the government and other organisations for their supports towards improving the lives of the people and reducing the prevalence of diseases. (NAN