Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Health has stated that as high as 50 million Nigerians are risk of suffering from onchocerciasis, otherwise known as river blindness.
According to the Acting Director of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) Division of the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Ifeoma Anagbogu, out of the 50 million, only about 30 million are accessing treatment.
The director also revealed that about 20 million people who are supposed to be on treatment are not currently accessing it and in an effort to control the disease, Nigeria has been applying the mass administration of a medicine from a donor agency for the management of the disease.
‘A person that stayed in a place that is identified to be risky and prone to the disease is given Mectizan, at least once annually for the cure and prevention of the disease,’ she said.
She enjoined the Nigerian government to provide the necessary support to enable the division to take ownership of the prevention and management programme.