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No new cases of river blindness in Kaduna, Plateau, Nasarawa, NGO says   

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 Sightsavers Nigeria an international NGO says Kaduna Plateau and Nasarawa states recorded no new cases of river blindness A statement issued on Friday by the organisation s Communication Officer Ms Joy Tarbo said the states have met World Health Organisation s WHO threshold in verifying interruption in transmission of the disease According to Tarbo a new research by Nigerian authors published by the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene has confirmed the elimination of river blindness in Plateau Nasarawa and Kaduna states She added that in 2019 Nigeria s Ministry of Health announced that more than 4 2 million people have been freed from the threat of river blindness spread by the infected bite of black flies which breed in fast flowing rivers in the three states Nigeria s efforts verifying river blindness transmission has been interrupted and that the three states have met World Health Organization thresholds that define this Methods used in the survey of over 9 000 children finds that thousands of hours were spent catching samples of black flies to test that the flies were no longer infected Tarbo said that surveys conducted as part of Accelerating the Sustainable Control and Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases in West and Central Africa ASCEND programme showed there were no new cases of the disease in the states And no evidence of the parasite in the black flies that spread it With World Health Organisation threshold for transmission interruption met the regular distribution of medicine to prevent the disease could be halted in these states she said The communications officer explained that the ASCEND was a flagship programme funded by UK Aid and delivered by a consortium of partners led by Sightsavers The NGO s Country Director Dr Sunday Isiyaku said Nigeria has made great strides in the fight against diseases with support from Sightsavers and partners It is therefore a great honour to have this research paper published detailing the huge efforts that led to this milestone and showing how the reality of river blindness elimination can be achieved The last meeting of the National Onchocerciasis Elimination Committee indicated that more than five states in total are likely to achieve interruption in transmission by 2025 The international recognition from the research paper will help these other states in their journey to interrupt transmission Isiyaku therefore emphasised the need for treatment and prevention for other Neglected Tropical Diseases NTDs to be integrated into the health system According to him pressure must be kept up even as the country gets closer to elimination of many NTDs The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the Federal Government during the Kigali Summit on NTDs in June pledged to increase funding to support the elimination of the diseases The Federal Government also restated the need for strengthened collaboration on the implementation of water sanitation and hygiene initiatives WASH NewsSourceCredit NAN
No new cases of river blindness in Kaduna, Plateau, Nasarawa, NGO says   

Sightsavers Nigeria, an international NGO says Kaduna, Plateau and Nasarawa states recorded no new cases of river blindness.

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Communication Officer

A statement issued on Friday by the organisation’s Communication Officer, Ms Joy Tarbo, said the states have met World Health Organisation’s (WHO)
threshold in verifying interruption in transmission of the disease.

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Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

According to Tarbo, a new research by Nigerian authors published by the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene has confirmed the elimination of river blindness in Plateau, Nasarawa and Kaduna states.

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Ministry of Health

She added that in 2019, Nigeria’s Ministry of Health announced that more than 4.2 million people have been freed from the threat of river blindness, spread by the infected bite of black flies which breed in fast flowing rivers in the three states.

World Health Organization

“Nigeria’s efforts verifying river blindness transmission has been interrupted, and that the three states have met World Health Organization thresholds that define this.

“Methods used in the survey of over 9,000 children finds that thousands of hours were spent catching samples of black flies to test that the flies were no longer infected.

Sustainable Control and Elimination

Tarbo said that surveys conducted as part of Accelerating the Sustainable Control and Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases in West and Central Africa (ASCEND) programme
showed there were no new cases of the disease in the states.

“And no evidence of the parasite in the black flies that spread it.

With World Health Organisation

“With World Health Organisation threshold for transmission interruption met, the regular distribution of medicine to prevent the disease could be halted in these states,” she said.

The communications officer explained that the ASCEND was a flagship programme funded by UK Aid and delivered by a consortium of partners led by Sightsavers.

Country Director

The NGO’s Country Director, Dr Sunday Isiyaku, said “Nigeria has made great strides in the fight against diseases with support from Sightsavers and partners.

“It is therefore a great honour to have this research paper published, detailing the huge efforts that led to this milestone and showing how the reality of river blindness elimination can be achieved.

National Onchocerciasis Elimination Committee

“The last meeting of the National Onchocerciasis Elimination Committee indicated that more than five states in total are likely to achieve interruption in transmission by 2025.
“The international recognition from the research paper will help these other states in their journey to interrupt transmission.

Neglected Tropical Diseases

Isiyaku, therefore, emphasised the need for treatment and prevention for other Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) to be integrated into the health system.

According to him, pressure must be kept up even as the country gets closer to elimination of many NTDs.

News Agency of Nigeria

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the Federal Government during the Kigali Summit on NTDs in June pledged to increase funding to support the elimination of the diseases.

Federal Government

The Federal Government also restated the need for strengthened collaboration on the implementation of water, sanitation, and hygiene initiatives (WASH).

NewsSourceCredit: NAN

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