11 Council Areas Endemic to Tropical Diseases in A’ Ibom

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Picture: L-R : Chairman of the Correspondents'Chapel, Mrs Idongesit Ashameri with the Public Relations Officer of Nigeria Medical Association ( NMA) Dr Aniekeme Uwa

Akwa Ibom state Ministry of Health has declared prevalence of Neglected Tropical Diseases in 11 local government areas of the state.
Addressing the newsmen in Uyo on Monday to intimate public on World Negleted Tropical Diseases (NTD) day coming up on 31 January 2022, the state Coordinator of NTD in the State Ministry of Health and Public Relations Officer of Nigeria Medical Association ( NMA) Dr Aniekeme Uwa said many people have been infected Neglected Tropical Diseases in the state.
He said Neglected Tropical Diseases consisted of about 20 ailments associated with poor houses , poverty prevalent in many communities in the tropical regions.  
“These are diseases that are commonly found in tropical  and sub tropical parts of the world and they are closely associated with poverty, poor housing, poor access to portable water supply, poor access to healthcare delivery and they are not really reported probably because they don’t kill as fast as other diseases like HIV, COVID-19 and the rest. 
“And apart from that,probably because they affects the worlds  poorest, they don’t get the kind of attention they should get. But unfortunately these disease conditions are affecting our people. We have the high morbidity even though the mortality is relatively  low but they make our people not to live optimally and fulfill their destinies.And very importantly is the fact that this set of diseases are endemic in Akwa Ibom. 
” There are different types, Some are endemic in all Local government areas, some are endemic in about eleven while some are endemic in about four Local government areas.
“Most times we drive on the streets and see people with swollen legs or you go to the communities and see people with their swollen scrotum”
  “We also have some which leads to people having rashes on their skin. And these are rashes that you treat and treat and they just don’t heal and it also leads to blindness. Most of us have heard of river blindness ,that is spread by blackfly. So these disease conditions are there in our state in about four Local government areas.” He said
According to him, “The round worms, they make the children not to grow optimally and we all know that the brain of the child grows optimally within the first five years of the child’s life. So if there is a condition that affects the child’s nutrition because these worms stays in the stomach of the child, they suck the nutrients the child should get. So as the child is growing up,the child is not getting enough nourishment.”he added
Uwa said four council areas in Akwa in the state are endemic  to Onchcerciasis ( River Blindness) with Blackfly as the vector, Soil Transmitted Helminthiasisis ( Intestinal worms) affected by 31 council areas of the state , Schistosomiasis or  snail fever with water snail as vector and lymphatic filarisis or Elephantiasis which had mosquitoes as the vector. 
  “We also have some which leads to people having rashes on their skin. And these are rashes that you treat and treat and they just don’t heal and it also leads to blindness. Most of us have heard of river blindness ,that is spread by blackfly. So these disease conditions are there in our state in about four Local government areas”
He listed the most affected council areas in the state to include : Ibeno, Ibiono Ibom , Ika and local government areas . 
He regretted that patients of these sicknesses could not received necessary attention because of their conditions hence intervention of the World Agency to ameliorate their health challenges.  
He solicited partnership with the media ,private sector , enterpreneurs to bail out the vulnerable from their conditions.
 So that is why 30th of January was set aside as world’s NTDs day to create awareness on the Neglected tropical diseases.  To let people know and appreciate that these  conditions still exist. There are these ones that cause blindness in the northern part of the country,Tacoma which transmitted by the housefly.