138.9 Million Nigerians Require Interventions Against Neglected Tropical Diseases

Nigeria has 138.9 million people requiring interventions against Neglected Tropical Diseases, ranking first in Africa and second globally. The Federal Government aims to eradicate NTDs by 2027, requiring sustained efforts to address transmission and inequalities.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
New Update
138.9 Million Nigerians Require Interventions Against Neglected Tropical Diseases

138.9 Million Nigerians Require Interventions Against Neglected Tropical Diseases

Nigeria faces a significant public health challenge, with 138.9 million people requiring interventions against Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), according to 2022 data from the World Health Organisation (WHO). This staggering figure places Nigeria first in Africa and second globally, surpassed only by India.

Why this matters: The prevalence of NTDs in Nigeria has far-reaching consequences for the country's economic development and human capital, as it perpetuates cycles of poverty and inequity. Addressing this issue is crucial to improving public health outcomes and achieving sustainable development goals.

Despite progress in eliminating diseases like dracunculiasis (Guinea-worm disease) in 2013, Nigeria remains endemic for several NTDs. The population requiring treatment through mass drug administration stands at 138.9 million for lymphatic filariasis, 48.7 million for soil-transmitted helminthiases, and 43.5 million for onchocerciasis.

NTDs, defined by the WHO as a diverse group of conditions of parasitic, bacterial, viral, fungal, and non-communicable origin, perpetuate cycles of poverty and inequity. They hinder children's access to education and adults' ability to engage in productive work. Individuals affected by disabilities and impairments resulting from NTDs often face stigma and social isolation, further exacerbating their plight.

In response to this urgent issue, the Federal Government has announced plans to eradicate NTDs by 2027, demonstrating a commitment to improving public health outcomes nationwide. However, achieving this goal will require sustained efforts and strategic priorities to address the root causes of NTD transmission and combat inequalities within affected populations.

Dr. Ibrahima Fall, Director of the WHO Global Neglected Tropical Diseases Programme, emphasized the need for collective action, stating, "We must intensify our collective action to address the deep-rooted inequalities that fuel the transmission of NTDs in the populations where they persist." With a renewed focus on advocacy, partnership, costing, and accelerated implementation, Nigeria can make significant strides in combating NTDs and improving the lives of millions.

The alarming number of Nigerians requiring interventions against NTDs underscores the urgent need for concerted efforts to tackle this public health crisis. As the nation works towards its goal of eradicating NTDs by 2027, it is crucial to address the underlying inequalities that perpetuate the transmission of these diseases and ensure that no one is left behind in the fight against NTDs.

Key Takeaways

  • Nigeria has 138.9 million people requiring interventions against Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).
  • NTDs perpetuate cycles of poverty and inequity, hindering education and productivity.
  • The Federal Government aims to eradicate NTDs by 2027, but sustained efforts are needed.
  • Addressing underlying inequalities is crucial to combat NTD transmission and ensure no one is left behind.
  • Collective action, advocacy, and partnership are necessary to tackle this public health crisis.