By Segun Awofadeji
About 15 persons in Bara village on the Gombe road in Kirfi Local Government Area of Bauchi State have been infected by a strange illness that causes swollen legs.
The Executive Chairman of the Bauchi State Primary Health Care Development Agency (BASPHCDA), Dr. Rilwanu Mohammed, who disclosed this while briefing journalists on the commemoration of the 2021 World Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) Day celebration held yesterday, said last Sunday evening, the agency got a report that some people’s legs were swelling up in Bara village.
According to him, “I have directed the disease control department of the agency to mobilise to the village to find out what the problem is .We are suspecting Onchocerciasis or Lymphatic Filariasis, considering that the local government area is one of those that have the cases of those tropical diseases. As soon as we get the results of the investigation, we will take prompt action to curb it.”
On the NTDs, the chairman of the health agency said over 1 billion people are suffering from the NTDs globally while in Bauchi State, the number is over 1 million.
He listed some of the NTDs to include Onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis, soil transmitted helminths, trachoma, shistosomiasis, buruli ulcer, snake bite, leprosy, human African tryphanomiasis, Guinea worm, yaws and loiasis, adding that with good sanitation and proper hygiene, the diseases can be checked.
Mohammed pointed out that as of now, Bauchi State has onchocerciasis in 12 LGAs; lymphatic filariasis in 11 LGAs; shistosomiasis in 16 LGAs; trachoma in two LGAs, while Guinea worm has already been eradicated in Nigeria completely.
He added that for the morbidity management and prevention, the state is working with UNICEF and a local NGO, ‘Mission To Save the Helpless (MITOSATH)’.
For the 2020 treatment cycle, Mohammed said the state was able to collect and distribute 9 million tablets of Ivermecin; 1.9million tablets of Albedazole; 1.7million tablets of Praziquantel; 18 motorcycles for NTDs endemic LGAs, as well as trained 500 health workers on NTD medicines supply chain management and 500 community volunteers on hygiene promotion on collaboration with RUWASSA.