By Chukwudi Nwauba

Awka, June 9, 2021 (MOI) Anambra State Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Okpala has commended the teams from Federal Ministry of Health, `The Carter Centre’, for their commitment and support toward fight against Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) in the state. 

The Carter Centre is a nongovernmental organisation that helps to improve lives by resolving conflicts, advancing democracy and preventing diseases.

Dr Okpala said this during an advocacy visit with the team from Federal Ministry of Health, `The Carter Centre and State NTD’ in his office at the Jerome Udoji Secretariat, Awka.

The commissioner commended their initiative and commitment in the state while assuring them of the state Government’s continued support.

He emphasised the importance of carrying out surveys, which help in getting feedback from implemented activities.

“It will help to provide the necessary data for future programme design, implementation and monitoring; in turn it will help to achieve better outcomes for Ndi Anambra.

“This visit will help all of us to brainstorm together to know the areas of improvement, challenges and as well solve the identified problems,’’ he said.

Dr Okpala assured them that his ministry would look into their challenges especially, in the aspect of logistics and convey it to Gov. Willie Obiano for prompt intervention.

Federal Ministry of Health, South East Zonal Coordinator of NTD, Mrs Chinwe Okoli said that the objective was to strengthen the relationship between the Centre and Government at Federal and State levels.

Mrs Okoli commended the State Government for supporting the activities of Centre in fighting diseases like Neglected Tropical Diseases across the state.

She said that Anambra had done well in NTD Carter Centre support programme and as well as being one of the best performing states in Nigeria.

Mrs E R Altamaha, State Programme Officer for the Centre said: “millions of lives will be spared future suffering, thanks to the collaborative efforts of `The Carter Centre and the Federal Ministry of Health to address widespread neglected diseases.

“We are addressing widespread neglected diseases such as guinea worm, lymphatic, filariasis, schistosomiasis, river blindness, trachoma and malarial.’’

“Our target is to eliminate river blindness, lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis and others from Anambra and Nigeria by 2025.

“We have presented our treatment targets, challenges and requests to the commissioner believing that it will be looked into for the benefit of Ndi Anambra.’’

Mrs Attamah explained that their jobs also include mass mobilisation, sensitisation and drug administration, monitoring and evaluation, data collection, validation and reporting.

She applauded the commissioner and his ministry for their dedication to duty, which she described as ‘unique,’ and had helped to make their activity in the state easier. In attendance during the visit include Executive Secretary State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Chioma Ezenyimulu, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Mr Linus Nwankwo, Director Public Health/Diseases, Dr Uchechukwu Onyejimbe, and State NTD Coordinator Mr Emmanuel Obikwelu. (MOI)

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