By Edidiong Ikpe
As part of efforts to strengthen the Campaign on the Control and Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases from Akwa Ibom State ,the Ministry of Health has concluded plans to carry out a mass deworming of school children.
Consequently , the Ministry has through its Neglected Tropical Diseases Control and Elimination Programme concluded a Two Day Training Workshop, tagged State Level Training on Schistosomiasis (SCH) and Soil Transmitted Helminthiasis (STH )School Based Mass Administration of Medicines(MAM).
The Training which held at the Nigeria Medical Association’s Conference Room, Uyo had in attendance Major stakeholders drawn from the federal and state ministries of Health , Education, Information, Lands and Water Resources, Environment, SUBEB, Primary Health Care Management Board, Teachers and School Management Committees and other relevant stakeholders.
In his welcome speech, the state Coordinator, Neglected Tropical Diseases Control and Elimination Programme, Akwa Ibom State, Dr. Aniekeme Uwah hinted that the two day training workshop is aimed at providing adequate training to the state Neglected Tropical Diseases Team as they prepare for the mass deworming exercise for school children aged 5 to 14 years.
He said that the training is expected to train the state NTDs team on the Mass Administration of Drugs Programme and also develop a supervisory plan to enhance the success of the programme.
The State Coordinator NTDs who expressed that the Akwa Ibom State is one of the states committed to eradicating NTDs charged participants to draw the attention of people to it and give relevant advice where necessary.
Addressing the participants at the workshop, the National Coordinator, NTDs Mr. Nse Akpan identified sustained advocacy and strategic engagement with relevant stakeholders as key targets of controlling and eliminating NTDs in our communities.
Mr. Akpan who stressed that the Media has a role to play in sensitizing and advising the public on NTDs and ways of prevention called for collaborative efforts and commitment from all sections of the society. He pledged to support the state by attracting programmes from the federal government .He commended the state government for the various intervention programmes put in place through surgeries and other care delivery.
Presenting an Overview of NTDs in Nigeria, the State Coordinator NTDs, Dr. Aniekeme Uwah described NTDs as a group of parasitic and bacterial infections which are associated with poverty and prevalent in areas that have poor sanitation, inadequate or low safe water resources as well as substandard water conditions.
Dipo Falaja in his presentation on Roles and Responsibilities of Stakeholders in the Mass Deworming Campaign pointed out that everyone is important in the control and Elimination of NTDs. He expressed assurance that the collaborative efforts of relevant ministries and supporting non-governmental organizations have made great impact in the campaign.
Situation Analysis of Schistosomiasis (SCH) snail fever and Soil Transmitted Helminthiasis (STH),tape worm, round worm and other key issues including Introduction to Integrated Data Collection Tools, Strategies for Effective Community and School Mobilization and Sensitization in NTDs Mass Deworming Activities, Drug Storage, Management and Adverse Effects , Implementation Plan were subjects of discourse at the training programme.