A professor of Parasitology and Entomology, Jacqueline Azumi Badaki, has called on the states and federal government to intensify efforts for establishment of a Centre for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).
According to him, it’s to curb avoidable death in the rural communities.
Badaki made the call Friday during the 12th Inaugural Lecture Series entitled, The Endless War Between Neglected Tropical Diseases and Overlooked Populations, she presented at the Federal University Lokoja (FUL).
She also urged the governments to focus on improved disease management in the areas of diagnostics, preventive treatments, research and capacity building.
Prof. Badaki also said though the nation had recorded tremendous successes in the elimination of the few neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), there were threats from parasitic diversity and resilience, especially in rural communities.
“In 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) recognised 20 NTDs and two years later, the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) recognised nine diseases as NTDs of public health importance in Nigeria.
“The diseases include: Trachoma; buruli ulcer; trypanosomiasis; dengue fever; schistosomiasis; dengue fever; schistosomiasis; river blindness; lymphatic filariasis (LF); onchocerciasis and soil-transmitted helminthes (worm infections).
“Note that Nigeria is the highest contributor to these estimates. Yet, NTDs receive only 0.6 per cent health fund of official development assistance unlike HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis that collectively receive above 50 per cent.”
In his remarks, the vice-chancellor, Prof. Olayemi Akinwumi, commended the lecturer and thanked the Governing Council of the university for the opportunity granted the professor.
He urged the academia and guests to get copies of the lecture for proper digestion and for their libraries.