FG Needs More Fund to Battle Tropical Diseases

By Nurat Uthman

Stakeholders have urged philanthropists to contribute funds towards the elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases to meet the 2030 target in Nigeria.

The call was made at an NTDs roundtable meeting in Abuja to mark Sightsavers’ 70th anniversary in the country.

Speaking, the Director of Public Health, Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Chukwuma Anyaike, said more funds would help in eliminating NTDs, improve health status and prevent mortality and morbidity in the country.

Anyaike said, “We need to have an investment case and inter-sectoral collaboration needed to address these diseases.

“We should also plan on our budget for next year by coming up with data to propel allocation towards the elimination of NTDs.”

Also, the NTDs National Coordinator at the ministry, Dr. Fatai Oyediran, noted that strategies were already in place to mobilise funding from local resources to eliminate NTDs in the country.

Oyediran, therefore, called on philanthropists like Aliko Dangote, Femi Otedola, Emeka Offor, T.Y. Danjuma and others to support the government in eliminating the diseases in the country.

Sightsavers Country Representative, Sunday Isiyaku, said the organisation has made remarkable progress towards NTDs elimination, improving eye health and boosting disability rights in the country.

Isiyaku affirmed, “We are committed to a future where people are no longer at risk from NTDs, everyone has access to quality eye care, and people with disabilities can thrive in an inclusive society.

“So much has already been achieved in all areas, but today is also about looking forwards and galvanising momentum for what still needs to be done.”

Isiyaku, however, revealed that strategies were in place to a cost estimate of $18.2m to support elimination in several states in Nigeria.

“Just under $7 million has been pledged by existing donors. Sightsavers plans to commit over $5m for trachoma elimination in Nigeria through 2030, which we aim to secure through public fundraising.

” We estimate a further $5.8 to ensure all activities in Nigeria are funded through if we can secure this funding we expect more between now and 2028,” he said.

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