Duration: 5 years - 2013 to 2017
Local partner: Vision2020 Support Programme, Government of Nigeria & National Ministry of Health
The goal of this project is to contribute to the elimination of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in Nigeria such as Trachoma and River Blindness. NTDs cause pain and chronic disability to more than one billion people infected in the poorest communities of world. NTDs thrive in impoverished, tropical regions where there is poor sanitation, unsafe drinking water, numerous insects to spread disease and little access to health services and Government support.
Africa has the highest burden of NTDs in the world. Given that one in five Africans is Nigerian, the prevention and control of NTDs in Nigeria is imperative. The control, elimination and eradication of the incidence of NTDs will be a major contribution to poverty alleviation and attainment of the Global Goals to eradicate poverty.
Neglected Tropical Diseases and poverty form a vicious cycle; both worsen if either is neglected. Approximately 90% of the burden of Neglected Tropical Diseases can be treated with medicines administered once or twice a year. The World Health Organisation identified the northern half of Nigeria as the “Trachoma Belt.”
8.7 million people in Nigeria are at risk of trachoma where infection is frequently passed between children or from child to mother, especially in crowded, unsanitary living conditions. If left untreated, the disease causes eyelids to turn inwards resulting in intense pain and irreversible blindness.
Onchocerciasis (River Blindness) is prevalent in many parts of Nigeria. It is estimated that about 31 million people are at risk. If left untreated, the disease can cause blindness and a variety of debilitating and disfiguring skin problems.
HOW WE ARE HELPING
- Providing support to the Government of Nigeria in developing and sustaining advocacy and public awareness
- Strengthening the capacity of staff at all levels for effective NTD control
- Improving access to preventive treatment through mass drug distribution
YOU CAN HELP TO ELIMINATE NEGLECTED TROPICAL DISEASES