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Ondo, groups partner on free healthcare

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A non-governmental organisation, Mission to Save The Helpless, and a philanthropic group, ENDfund, have partnered with the Ondo State Government to tackle Neglected Tropical Diseases in the state.

The organisations raised the alarm over the increasing rate of NTDs in the state, adding that they would continue to support the state government by offering free treatment to affected persons.

Speaking at the inauguration of a free hydrocelectomy surgery and management of lymphoedema for Ondo residents at the General Hospital, Idanre, the Director of MITOSATH, Francisca Olamiju, disclosed that the organisation had treated over six million people since 2015.

Represented by the senior programme manager of the organisation, Ijeoma Achu, the MITOSATH boss said the free surgery was organised by the Ondo State Primary Health Care Development Agency in collaboration with MITHOSATH and EndFund, noting that the high rate of the NTDs in the state was lack of proper awareness to the residents.

She said, “Officially, since 2015, we delivered nothing less than six million treatments, covering onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis, and soil transmitted helminths, and we are happy that we are targeting 70 hydrocele surgery for those that have come down with elephantiasis.

“The case is high in Ondo State because it is the same mosquitoes that cause malaria that cause this disease called elephantiasis. Many people do not believe. Some call it spiritual attacks or witchcraft attack, but that is not true.

“It is the same mosquitoes we know that are responsible for those with swollen limbs or scrotums. We are here to let people know that if they have been taking necessary medicine, they would not come down with such diseases.”

In his remarks, the state Commissioner for Health, Banji Ajaka, described Lymphatic Filariasis (Elephantiasis) as a neglected tropical disease which occurs through the transmission of filarial parasites to humans through mosquitoes.

Represented by his Special Adviser, Abayomi Ologo, the health commissioner stated that the infection was mostly acquired in childhood and causes hidden damage to the lymphatic system.

He also explained that 17 local government areas were endemic for the disease in the state, hence the need for its elimination to prevent unnecessary suffering among residents.

Ajaka, who commended MITOSATH for its partnership in the state, said the partnership had helped in the establishment of the NTDs clinic at the OSPHCDA, implementation of free mass hydrocelectomy for infected residents, and the development of an electronic data collection system for active case search of NTDs.



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