15 Persons infected By Strange Illness In Bauchi, BASPHCDA Raises Alarm

Segun Babatunde in Bauchi

About 15 persons in Bara Village, along Gombe road in Kirfi local government area of Bauchi state have been infected by a strange illness that causes swollen legs.

The Executive Chairman of the Bauchi State Primary Health Care Development Agency (BASPHCDA), Dr Rilwanu Mohammed who disclosed this while briefing news men on the commemoration of the 2021 World Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) Day celebration held on Monday said that late Sunday evening, the agency got a report that people’s legs are swelling up in Bara village.

According to him,”I have directed the Disease Control department of the Agency to mobilize to the village to find out what the problem is .We are suspecting onchocerciasis or lymphatic filariasis considering that the local government is one of the LGAs that have the cases of those tropical diseases. As soon as we get the results of the investigation, we will take prompt action to curb it” .

On the NTDs, the Executive Chairman of the health agency said that over 1 billion people are suffering from the NTDs globally while in Bauchi state, the number is over 1 million.

He listed some of the NTDs to include: Onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis, soil transmitted helminths, trachoma, shistosomiasis, buruli ulcer, snake bite, leprosy, human African tryphanomiasis, Guinea worm, yaws and loiasis, adding that with good sanitation and proper hygiene, the diseases can be checked.

He pointed out that as of now, Bauchi State has onchocerciasis in 12 LGAs; Lymphatic filariasis in 11 LGAs; Shistosomiasis in 16 LGAs, Trachoma in 2 LGAs while Guinea worm has already been eradicated in Nigeria as a whole.

Rilwanu Mohammed added that for the morbidity management and prevention, the state is working with UNICEF and a local NGO, Mission To Save the Helpless (MITOSATH).

For the 2020 treatment cycle, he said that the state was able to collect and distribute 9 million tables of ivermecin; 1.9m tablets of Albedazole; 1.7m tablets of Praziquantel; 18 motorcycles for NTDs endemic LGAs; trained 500 health workers on NTD medicines supply chain management and 500 community volunteers on hygiene promotion on collaboration with RUWASSA.

“Generally, the state is making progress on elimination of this preventive chemotherapy NTDs as Oncho is about to be eliminated in the state 3 epidemiological surveys have equally been carried out, 2 were successful and we are waiting for the results of the third. Transmission Assessment Survey for Trachoma was carried out in Shira and Tafawa Balewa LGAs and were successful”, the Executive Chairman said.

He said that pre-transmission assessment survey was done in Giade, Bogoro, Tafawa Balewa and Itas/Gadau LGAs in 2018 to 2019 during which only Bogoro failed while for 2020, Misau, Warji and Bogoro (to be repeated) will be done this February.

BASPHCDA chairman then urged the people of the state to imbibe the culture of healthy living, keep their environment clean always in order to minimize the risk of getting infected just as he encouraged them to always report any strange disease to the agency for prompt action. END

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