Thursday, May 30, 2024

50 million Nigerians at risk of River Blindness: Official

The major challenge faced in addressing the disease was insecurity in some local government areas.

• November 8, 2020
Minister of Health Osagie Ehanire
Minister of Health Osagie Ehanire (Credit: BusinessDay)

An official of Nigeria’s health ministry, Michael Igbe has said about 50 million Nigerians are at risk of getting infected with onchocerciasis, also called River Blindness.

Mr. Igbe who is the programme manager of the National Onchocerciasis Elimination Programme said this in Ibadan during a media parley organised by the Child Rights Information Bureau of the federal ministry of Information and Culture, in collaboration UNICEF.

Speaking at the event, Mr. Igbe said “At inception, Nigeria had interventions covering 32 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Now, 27 states and the FCT, with about 50 million persons in Nigeria are at risk of onchocerciasis.”

The official explained that the disease was caused by the nematode Onchocerca volvulus, which is the second leading cause of preventable blindness.

Mr. Igbe stated that River Blindness is transmitted by the bite of an infected black fly: Simulium Damnosum and other species, breeding in fast-flowing streams and rivers.

He noted that “people become blind early in life as from 20-30 years.”

The major challenge faced in addressing the disease was insecurity in some local government areas, said Mr. Igbe.

Others, he said, were poor funding by the government and inadequate logistics for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) programme.

He noted that NTDs are viral, parasitic and bacterial diseases that mainly affect the world’s poorest people.

We have recently deactivated our website's comment provider in favour of other channels of distribution and commentary. We encourage you to join the conversation on our stories via our Facebook, Twitter and other social media pages.

More from Peoples Gazette

Katsina State

Politics

Katsina youths pledge to deliver over 2 million votes to Atiku

“Katsina State is Atiku’s political base because it is his second home.”

Kwara State

States

Foundation enrols 1,000 poor people in Kwara health insurance scheme

Jetawo-Winter said that the government should not be left to cater to all the people’s needs.

Climate change logo

NationWide

Nigeria begins stakeholders’ engagements on climate action

The committee will coordinate and oversee all the policies and programmes on climate action.

Governor Dikko Radda (Credit ; Leadership)

States

Katsina governor  lists achievements in poverty alleviation, agricultural revolution  

“We came up with a lot of strategies towards reducing poverty in the state.’’

Traders at Lagos Trade Fair Complex

Economy

Business owners urge FG to tackle food smuggling, enhance forex liquidity to curb inflation

He further called for empowerment of the manufacturing sector through reduction in interest rates.

Governor Ahmed Aliyu (Photo credit: Vanguard)

States

Anniversary: Gov. Aliyu begins payment of N4 billion gratuity backlog

”I want to appeal to the beneficiaries to utilise the money in a manner that will be beneficial to their respective families,” he pleaded.