By Nancy Juma
Kisumu has joined the rest of the World in commemorating World Neglected Tropical Diseases (WNTD) Day at Rabuor, Nyando Sub County.
World NTD Day, is a global annual event marked every 30th of January and brings together public health officials and partners to raise awareness and to profile neglected tropical diseases to improve the rate of early treatment and cure. It is also an opportunity to call on everyone to support the growing momentum for the control, elimination, and eradication of the diseases.
Globally, NTDs affects at least 1 billion people translating to at about one in every five people. 50 per cent of this population is found in Sub- Saharan Africa which Kenya and Kisumu are a part of.
Going by the theme for this year, ” Act Now, Act Together, Invest in Neglected Tropical Diseases”, there is a global call for sustainable financing for NTDs. A lack of resources has been seen as a significant barrier to the control, elimination and eradication of NTDs.
To help mobilise for additional funding in aid of this global call, Kisumu Governor Prof. Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o reiterated that it is important to prioritize NTDs and resource mobilization.
“Kisumu County accepts the rallying call to invest in the fight against NTDs through a wholistic and all inclusive approach.We recognize that in order to deliver against the targets outlined in the World Health Organization 2030 NTD Roadmap and Sustainable development Goal 3, we must deliberately and actively consider NTDs in routine programming and service delivery”. He said
Nyong’o placed out a rallying call to his colleagues at the Council of Governors (CoG) to include NTDs in their funding proposals and budgetary allocations for the health sector. He urged residents to observe proper sanitation and hygiene to reduce and combat transmission of some of the diseases.
In December last year, there were reported cases of Bilharzia in Nyando Sub County, Kisumu and the affected persons were quickly put on treatment. Based on the experience, the Governor says the County Government will roll out mass drug administration later in the year. For a start, the County today conducted a medical outreach focusing on NTDs such as Bilharzia, jiggers and intestinal worms among others.
The Ministry of Health will partner with Kisumu and the Counties of Homabay, Siaya, Migori and Busia in the Mass Drug Distribution. The African Institute for Health and Development will also be carrying out a survey in the said counties to document the prevalence of Bilharzia, intestinal worms and jiggers.
Dr. Wycliffe Omondi who represented the Cabinet Secretary for Health Dr. Nakhumicha Wafula reiterated that Kenya is committed to controlling and eliminating NTDs as diseases of public health importance and has over the last ten years steered the control and elimination of the diseases by developing policies and strategic plans to guide achievements of both global and local targets. He noted that Kenya was the first country in Africa to launch a five-year plan 2012-2015 for the integrated control of Tropical Diseases, and a second plan 2016-2020.
Dr. Omondi called on leaders both from the public and private sectors to be effective champions of NTDs and advocates by using their influence to facilitate an increase in domestic financing at regional, national and local levels. He assured that the funding channels to be realized will be aligned and harmonised around programme goals and priorities through better accountability and transparency tools.
The World Health Organization ( WHO) recognizes 20 conditions under the umbrella of NTDs. These include; dengue fever, bilharzia, leprosy, rabies,snake bite, trachoma, mycetoma, chagas disease among others.
Monday 30th January, 2023
Rabuor, Nyando Sub County