The Programme Coordinator of the Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), Gombe State Primary Health Care Development Agency (GSPHCDA), Danjuma Mohammed, says the agency has distributed seven million Mectizan tablets for the treatment of Onchocerciasis, popularly called River Blindness.
Mr Mohammed told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gombe on Friday that the drugs were distributed in 2018 to 10,024 communities across the 10 out of the 11 local government areas of the state.
Onchocerciasis is a disease spread by repeated bites from infected black flies. The disease is mostly common among those who live in remote African villages.
Mr Mohammed said all the 10 benefitting local government areas were endemic with the exception of Gombe and the tablets were being distributed according to person’s height.
The programme manager explained that the annual distribution was designed as preventative measures in the endemic communities.
Similarly, he said drugs for the treatment of Lymphatic Filariasis, commonly known as Elephantiases, were distributed to 10 local government areas in the state.
According to him, the state is distributing the tablets massively targeting elimination of NTDs by the year 2020.
He said health official are visiting communities to find out the locations where the disease exists so that it would be eliminated completely.
Mr Mohammed underscored the need for Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) which he described as one of the preventive measures of most of the NTDs.