No fewer than 13 persons suffering from lymphatic Filariasis(swollen testicle) have been given free surgical operation by the Akwa Ibom government in collaboration with Hellen Keller International (HKI)
The state coordinator of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) Mr Aniekeme Uwah, who revealed these at the thanksgiving service to mark the 2022 World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day (NTDs) at the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, IkotOkubo Offot, Uyo, said the diseases which affect world poorest people was having adverse effect on the productive sector of the economy.
He called on the public to join hands with the government to eliminate the diseases by accessing free screening and treatment.
The diseases are: lymphatic Filariasis (Elephantiasis), Onchocerciasis (River Blindness), Schistosomiasis(Bilharziasis), Blinding Trachoma, and Soil – Transmitted Helminthiasis (Intestinal Worms).
Uwah advised parents and guardians to avail their children for immunization in churches and schools against the NTDs that have killed over one million people in the world.
He also explained that lack of blood in pregnant women was also caused by NTDs and therefore made a case for early diagnose and treatment to avoid death.
The coordinator advised community dwellers who drink from stream and spring to always boil such water before drinking to prevent intestinal worm that causes NTDs including: swollen legs, river blindness, chronic anaemia, leprosy, ulcer and rashes.
He commended the commissioner for health, Professor Augustine Umoh, for giving premium to the unit which enablesthem to be in partnership with implementing partners to render several services to the poor people who suffer these diseases such as the undertaking of 13 free surgical operations on scrotal swelling.
The representative of the Nigeria Medical Association(NMA), Dr Enobong Akpan, extolled Uwah for strengthening the fight against NTDs in the state and pledeged the determination of the body to take the campaign around the nooks and crannies of Akwa Ibom.
Elizabeth Ezeobell of Hellen Keller International (HKI), affirmed the commitment of the organisation to collaborate with Akwa Ibom government to eliminate all forms of NTDs in the state.
She emphasized for good personal hygiene, clean environment and avoiding of open defecation as ways of preventing the contraction of the diseases.
The celebration featured road walk for sensitization from the State Secretariat to Ibom Plaza which was graced by ImeBishop Ben Umoh “Okon Lagos”