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River Blindness: Edo, Ondo, Taraba Worst Hit, Says Expert

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The three states of Edo, Ondo and Taraba have been identified to have high prevalence of River Blindness in Nigeria.

Chairman of the Steering Committee on Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) in Nigeria, Professor Uche Amaziho, disclosed this while responding to questions from journalists in Abuja on Sunday, 2015.

The good news however is that the level of endemicity of the disease in Taraba is gradually going down while Zamfara State have been totally cleaned up.

“For now, where we will say we have great challenges are Ondo and Edo states. This is because they have very difficult terrain.

“Taraba is also among them because its level of endemicity was very high when we began in 1995.

“There are also others states that need support, but these three states are the worst hit.

“Even though the endemicity in Taraba has gone down, it has not yet gone to that level where we can say we have stopped transmission.

“Edo and Ondo that  boarder each other also have  communities  that have high prevalence.

“On the whole we have a number of states like Zamfara where we have cleaned up the state. Even when you find the black fly, they have no infection in that area,” she said.

While saying that Nigeria is making progress which should be maintained, she however warned that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government should take the fight against the disease seriously so that the entire country would be  totally cleaned up from the disease.

“It is now up to this new government to be serious about it, follow the roadmap and encourage the communities to continue to distribute these drugs on an annual basis for the next six to seven years, so that we will get a country that is clean and free from River Blindness,” she stated.

She explained that the role of her committee is to put a roadmap that if the government and the partners keep to it, “we are sure we will achieve elimination of river blindness in Nigeria.”

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