Nigeria Requires N154bn to Eradicate, Control Neglected Tropical Diseases

Nigeria requires an estimated N154 billion to control and eradicate Neglected Tropical Diseases, NTDs, such as elephantiasis, Buruli ulcer, river blindness and leprosy amongst others.

The National Coordinator of the National NTDs programme in Nigeria, Dr Anyaike Chukwuma who disclosed this in Ibadan, Oyo State, worried that currently, Nigeria contributes 40 percent of the NTD burden globally and carries roughly 25 percent of Africa’s NTD burden.

The NTDs are a group of infectious parasitic and bacterial infections that disproportionally affect the world’s poorest and most vulnerable populations, causing severe and lifelong impairment.

Several millions of Nigerians are at risk for at least one untreated Neglected Tropical Diseases, NTD, as well as cases of co-endemicity where a person is infected with more than one NTD.

In 2013, the Federal Ministry of Health launched an elaborate plan to control or eliminate the seven most common NTDs by 2020.

But as the target is fast approaching, millions in the country have not been reached with crucial services as a result of the gaps in funding.

Even though NTDs are common infections, they have received inadequate and inconsistent attention on the international health agenda for decades.

Funding is one of the significant gaps against their control and elimination as a public health problem.

Lamenting the funding gap Chukwuma explained that although 80 percent of the funding comes from donors, a large proportion of the fund allocated is not released.