Integrated Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases
Duration: 2018 to 2021
Local partner: Health and Development Support Programme
The goal of this project is to contribute to the elimination of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in Nigeria such as Trachoma and River Blindness. NTDs cause pain and chronic disability to more than one billion people infected in the poorest communities of the world. NTDs thrive in impoverished, tropical regions where there is poor sanitation, unsafe drinking water, numerous insects to spread disease and little access to health services and Government support.
Africa has the highest burden of NTDs in the world. Given that one in five Africans are Nigerian, the prevention and control of NTDs in Nigeria is imperative. The control, elimination and eradication of the incidence of NTDs will be a major contribution to poverty alleviation and attainment of the Global Goals to eradicate poverty.
Neglected Tropical Diseases and poverty form a vicious cycle; both worsen if either is neglected. Approximately 90% of the burden of Neglected Tropical Diseases can be treated with medicines administered once or twice a year. The World Health Organisation identified the Northern half of Nigeria as the “Trachoma Belt.”
8.7 million people in Nigeria are at risk of trachoma where infection is frequently passed between children or from child to mother, especially in crowded, unsanitary living conditions. If left untreated, the disease causes eyelids to turn inwards resulting in pain in the eyes, and eventual blindness.
Onchocerciasis (River Blindness) is prevalent in many parts of Nigeria. It is estimated that about 31 million people are at risk. If left untreated, the disease can cause blindness and a variety of debilitating and disfiguring skin problems
HOW WE ARE HELPING
- Improving access to preventive treatment through mass drug distribution
- Improving access to safe water, environmental sanitation and hygiene practices to reduce transmission of diseases
- Providing support to the Government of Nigeria in developing and sustaining advocacy and public awareness
- Strengthening the capacity of staff at all levels for effective NTD control.