Kwara PPSN marks World NTDs Day, advises residents on personal, environmental hygiene

share on:

The Parasitology and Public Health Society of Nigeria (PPSN), Kwara State chapter, Friday (January 2, 2024), joined the rest part of the world to mark this year’s World Day of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), with a call on residents of the state to always maintain personal and environmental hygiene as a way of preventing the diseases.

The programmes to mark the day took place at some selected primary and secondary schools as well as tertiary institutions across the state including Pilot LGEA school, Malete, Government Secondary School (both junior and senior sections) Malete, Kwara State University Malete and University of Ilorin.

The programmes featured advocacy and street to street campaign, enlightenment programme, awareness, education, and community engagement with critical stakeholders among others.

Speaking at the event, the Kwara State Coordinator for PPSN, Dr Sunday Ojo, said Neglected Tropical Diseases are a group of infectious diseases that prevail in tropical and subtropical conditions in 149 countries, affecting more than one billion people and costing developing economies billions of dollars every year. “Yet, they remain largely invisible to the global health agenda”.

Dr Sunday Ojo, who is the Ag, Head, Department of Zoology, Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences, Kwara State University, Malete, said NTDs World Day, was not just a date on the calendar, but a clarion call for action, a reminder of the silent plight that millions endure in the shadows of these preventable and treatable diseases.

“Our commitment in Kwara State, as part of the global fight against NTDs, is unwavering. We understand that to conquer these diseases, awareness, education, and community engagement are critical”, he said.

Speaking on this year’s theme: “Unite to Act towards the Elimination of NTDs”, he said PPSN embarked on a series of impactful activities aimed at raising awareness, educating the communities, and advocating for support to eliminate these diseases from the state and beyond.

According to him “our campaign kicked off with an extensive advocacy drive, engaging local leaders, healthcare professionals, and policymakers to galvanize support for NTDs elimination efforts.

“Through these dialogues, we emphasized the critical need for integrated disease management, improved sanitation, and increased healthcare access.

“A cornerstone of our celebration was the educational lecture series conducted across various educational institutions – from primary and secondary schools in our rural communities to tertiary institutions.

“These lectures served not only to educate our young minds about the existence and impact of NTDs but also to empower them with knowledge on preventive measures and the importance of early treatment.

“Awareness creation was another significant focus. Through the distribution of educational materials and the organization of community outreach programmes in local languages, we aimed to demystify NTDs, encouraging communities to participate actively in prevention and control measures.

“Our message was clear: NTDs are preventable, and they are treatable. No one needs to suffer in silence.In conclusion, while we celebrate the strides made in battling these diseases, we must also acknowledge the journey ahead”.

The PPSN Kwara Coordinator, said
prevention and elimination of NTDs requires a concerted effort, adding that simple measures like maintaining good personal and environmental hygiene, avoiding open defecation, using protective footwear, and ensuring access to clean water can have a profound impact.

“It is through our collective efforts – government support, community engagement, and global partnerships – that we can hope to eliminate the threat of NTDs. Let us all pledge, on this World Day of Neglected Tropical Diseases, to take a stand against these diseases that have, for too long, been neglected. Together, we can beat NTDs, for good, for all”.

A member of PPSN, Obaniyi Kehinde Adebobola emphasized the need for all hands to be on deck in ensuring the total elimination of NTDs in line with this year’s theme.

He said the advocacy visit was aimed at sensitizing the public on dos and don’ts for elimination of NTDs.

He advised Kwara residents to imbibe the habit of personal and environmental hygiene and avoid open defecation or defecation around the flowing river.

“These neglected diseases can be prevented through regular hand washing, defecation in proper places as well as sleeping under the mosquito net among other personal and environmental hygiene”, he said.

Also speaking at the event, a staff of Zoology Department KWASU and member of PPSN in Kwara State, Salahudeen Muhammad Badirudeen, described NTDs as commonly but often neglected diseases.

He noted that the fight against NTDs was a collective responsibility of all the stakeholders including parents and guardians, teachers, health workers among others.

“NTDs are diseases that are common around us but we often neglect them. That is why this enlightenment campaign is very important.

“Our message for people is to have clean environment because if the environment is clean, it will be free of flies. When the flies are not in our environment, we are one step away from diseases. Open defecation is another issue of concern and there is need for our people shun this unhealthy habit by using latrine to defecate. If you do that, you are making your environment more safer.

“People may likely contract some urinary infections through the swimming in the river. So, people should stay away from dirty water, stay away from taking food that is already contacted with flies, with these and other preventive measures, they will be free these neglected diseases”.

A member of PPSN Mrs Ojo Ifeoluwa was among the dignitaries at the event.

Responding on behalf of the visiting schools, the Principal Government Secondary School, Malete, Mr Olota Timothy and the Principal, Government Junior Secondary School, Malete, Mr. Ayinla Kehinde thanked the group for the initiative which they said would go along way in reminding the stakeholders of their responsibilities in the fight against NTDs.

share on:

Leave a Response