UK to Invest £360 million on diseases in Nigeria, others

The government of the United Kingdom has disclosed plans to invest £360m over the next five years with a view to saving over 200 million people suffering from Tricomia and other Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), in Nigeria and other African countries.

Deputy Team Leader, Dr. Christopher Lewis who disclosed this yesterday, in Abuja at the Sightsavers’ one billionth treatment for blindness and NTDs, noted that many people are still at risk on the continent.

Stressing the need for collective efforts, he said: “We must improve our surveillance. Structures must be made and investment must be made, to strengthen our health system in tackling these tropical neglected diseases.”

Lewis who is also the Senior Health Advisor, Department for International Development (DFID), noted that significant progress has been made, as the diseases have dropped from 2 million in 2010 to 1.6 million in 2015. He also lauded the Sightsaver foundation, saying it played a significant role in driving the change in 29 countries.

The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, who was represented by Mrs. Evelyn Ngige, called on stakeholders in the health sector to scale up control and elimination of NTDs.

Adewole implored non-government organisations to continue on the path of excellence in control and eradication of NTDs globally.

Also, Country Director, Sightsaver, Sunday Isiaku, explained that Nigeria has about 25 per cent of those infected in Africa. “You will always find Nigeria on the endemic list,” said.

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