On every 30th January, the World celebrates Neglected Tropical Diseases Day (NTDs). NTDs affects over a billion people around the world, and are caused by a variety of viruses, bacteria, parasites, fungi, and other toxins.
NTDs are most prevalent in the poorest regions and in addition to inclement weather, poor water quality, sanitation, and health care access exacerbate NTDs in these areas.
These tropical diseases are categorized as neglected because they are almost entirely ignored by the global health agenda and receive very little funding.
NTDs are also associated with significant stigma and subsequent social exclusion.
The Ashanti Regional Health Directorate on 30th January, 2023, also celebrated the day with this year’s theme; “Act Now. Act Together. Invest In Neglected Tropical Disease.”
The Ashanti Regional Disease Control Officer, Mr. Solomon Boakye has called on the Government of Ghana to incorporate Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) programme priorities into routine government planning and budgetary to lay the foundation for sustained control and elimination of NTDs.
Mr. Boakye said to achieve that, there was the need for new and strengthened partnerships from education, finance, workforce, and beyond.
He added that, most of the districts within the Ashanti Region has recorded NTDs which needs to be taking serious to prevent it.
Mr. Solomon Boakye also revealed that, neglected tropical diseases are preventable and treatable when detected early.
“The diseases are preventable and treatable when detecting early. Access to clean water, sanitary food handling, good hygiene and reduced environmental risks can prevent NTDs.
“Delay in seeking treatment and care can result in life-long disability and death.” He added.
He also quashed the idea that NTDs like Leprosy, Epilepsy, Ascariasis and others are evil or cursed diseases.
“The NTDs are not evil or cursed diseases. Everyone is prone to this disease if care is not taken.
Mr. Boakye then called on everyone, including leaders and communities, to confront inequalities that drive NTDs and make bold, sustainable investments to free people who live in the most vulnerable communities from the cycle of poverty and are affected by NTDs.
Nana Yaw Owusu/Ashanti Region.