By Adeola Tukuru
Senior Health Advisor, Department for International Department (DFID), Dr Christopher Lewis, has said in the next year 5 years, the United Kingdom government will invest the sum of 360 million pounds to protect over 200 million people suffering from Tricomia and other neglected tropical diseases.
Lewis gave this assurance in Abuja at the Sightsavers, One billion treatment for blindness and other neglected tropical diseases, adding that many were still at risk in Africa.
He further added that the fight against these diseases is a collective effort.
In his words: “We must improve in our surveillance, structures must be made, investment must be made to strengthen our health system in tackling these tropical neglected diseases.”
According to Lewis, significant progress has been made as these diseases dropped from 2 million in 2010 to 1.6 million in 2015.
He also lauded the Sightsaver foundation, saying that they have played significant role in driving this change in 29 countries and other local communities.
Also, Sightsaver Nigeria Country Director, Sunday Isiaku, explained that the country has about 25 per cent of those infected in Africa, explaining that Nigeria has the highest number of those affect ted by the diseases. “You will always find Nigeria on the endemic list,” he said.
Isiaku said they were partnering with the federal and state governments as they provide logistics and technical support to ensure that people who need this treatment are treated.
“We ensure that people are treated and get the drugs. We are also working with the Ministry of Health to make sure that the endemic countries are treated annually,” he said.