News / Africa

    Northern Nigeria Project Aims to Eliminate ‘Neglected Diseases’

    The Nigerian government and the NGO called Sightsavers work to eliminate several diseases spread by water-born parasites

    A recent survey by Sightsavers and the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Health shows 7 of every 10 children of school age in the northern state of Zamfara are infected with one or more neglected tropical diseases(NTDs).

    The World Health Organization has categorized 18 diseases as NTDs which affect over 1.4 billion people around the world. These diseases cause sickness and disability which affect children’s mental and physical development. Two of them, trachoma and onchocerciasis, lead to blindness if not treated.

    A model primary school supported by UNICEF is located in Furi in Bungudu Local Government Area of Zamfara.

    A pupil is treated for schistosomiasis in Fur Furi in Bungudu local government area
    A pupil is treated for schistosomiasis in Fur Furi in Bungudu local government area

    Dayyasi Lawali is a ten-year-old pupil there. He’s been living with a parasitic disease called schistosomiasis for several years. If it goes untreated, it can damage internal organs and impair growth and mental development.

    Today, with a single dose of the tablet, prazequantel, he is cured of the condition, thanks to a treatment program directed by the community with support from Sightsavers and the Federal Ministry of Health.

    Sightsavers is an international charity that works to prevent avoidable blindness while promoting equal opportunity for disabled people in the developing world.

    In this case it’s working on a program that goes beyond vision care to controlling NTDS.

    They affect the poorest, most marginalized people, who often live in remote areas or urban slums.

    The diseases increase poverty by reducing one’s ability to earn a living. In severe cases people can’t work or care for themselves or their families, which increases the chances of children having to drop out of school to care for the family.

    Dr. Ibrahim Nazaradeen is medical director at King Fahad Ibn Abdul-Aziz Women and Children Hospital, Gusau.  He’s also the program manager of the Zamfara State Eye Care Program.  He provides clinical advice on the control of the Neglected Tropical Diseases project in the state:

    Other illnesses include onchosiachiasis, helmenthiasis, schistomiasis, lymphatic filariasis and trachoma.  But attention has not been given to them and that is why this issue of neglected tropical diseases comes.”

    The diseases are often overlooked in health planning. Sightsavers and the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Health and Zamfara State Ministry of Health are hoping to protect over 1.3 million people from neglected tropical diseases in Zamfara state.

    Dr. Nazaharadeen describes the damage done by some of these illnesses:

    With schistosomiasis, you see children passing [blood into the] urine sometimes [well into] adulthood.  With onchocerciasis [river blindness] you have manifestations on the skin as well, just like lymphatic filariasis [elephantiasis], in which you have body swollen in some part of the body like the scrotum, the legs, and even on the limbs.”

    He says if these diseases are not treated in time, they can kill or cause severe, possibly lifelong, physical impairment.

    One of the beneficiaries of the effort , pupil Dayyasi Lawali, explains how his treatment helps him:If I pass urine, it normally comes with blood, but since I took some tablets in school after some time the [bleeding] stopped.”

    He’s not alone. Almost 9 out of 11 pupils in that school and many others in Furi-Furi town benefit from the same treatment.  Older people in several other communities in about 11 local government areas of the state also benefit.

    The treatment combines drugs for the illness with public education on how to avoid water sources containing parasites.

    You May Like

    Vietnam Mulls Tough Measures for ‘Misbehaving’ Chinese Tourists

    Move comes after footage surfaced online of Chinese travelers harassing a banana hawker in Da Nang

    Pakistan Social Media Star's Honor Killing Fuels Debate

    Qandeel Baloch's murder puts spotlight on deadly tradition and other mistreatment of women

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Borderi
    X
    July 22, 2016 12:30 AM
    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.
    Video

    Video Number of Syrian Refugees Arriving in US Jumps

    The United States is committed to resettling 85,000 refugees from around the world by October. Of that number, 10,000 will come from Syria and already some 4,000 Syrian refugees have arrived in the United States, many of them settling in the state of Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from Chicago, their arrival is not the end of a difficult journey to find peace and stability.
    Video

    Video Rio’s Trams Await Olympic Tourists

    Over the past century, many cities around the world replaced electric trams, prone to breakdowns and backups, with faster and more spacious buses. But for some reason restored antique trams are a huge tourist attraction. So it’s no wonder the authorities in Rio de Janeiro are busy restoring their city’s old tram line ahead of the Summer Olympic Games. VOA’ George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora