Kogi launches sensitisation programme on river blindness

Posted by News Express | 18 October 2015 | 2,862 times

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The Kogi Government has begun a public enlightenment on the availability of drugs at the primary health care centres in the 21 council areas of the state to combat river blindness.

Mr. Alabi Albert, Coordinato, Kogi Department of the Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD), made this known in Ankpa at the commencement of the exercise on Saturday.

Alabi said that the sensitisation programme was aimed at stemming the tide of the NTD otherwise known as River Blindness, especially at the grassroots.

River blindness, according to him, is a disease caused by infection with a parasitic worm, Onchocerca volvulus.

The symptoms include, severe itching and bumps under the skin and the second most common cause of blindness after trachoma.

He said that the appropriate drug for the parasitic worm, spread by the bites of the blackfly, is Mectizan.

According to him, the drug is being distributed to various wards across the state by trained Community Directed Distributors (CDDs).

The coordinator noted that the state was badly affected by the disease going by the 2014 Epidemiological Survey.

Alabi said that primary school teachers in communities across the state were being trained as ad-hoc distributors of the drug to extend the outreach.

He called on the communities, especially at the grassroots and riverine areas to avail themselves of the opportunity to get the drugs, more so as it is a single dose therapy. (NAN)

•Photo shows Gov. Wada.

Source: News Express

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