The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has called for increased investment and collaboration among global stakeholders to accelerate and sustain the progress recorded in the fight against Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), which affect over 1 billion people across the world.
Obaseki made the call in commemoration of World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day 2023, with the theme, “Act Now. Act Together. Invest in Neglected Tropical Diseases,” celebrated by the World Health Organization (WHO) and its partner agencies.
The governor restated his government’s commitment to combating NTDs and other diseases in the state, charging global stakeholders to review efforts at guaranteeing sustainable financing to provide safe water and improve sanitation and hygiene so as to sustain the gains recorded in the prevention and management of NTDs.
He said, “On this World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day, we recognize the impact of these diseases on communities and the need for continued efforts towards their elimination. As we mark this important day, it is crucial that we not only celebrate the progress made in managing these diseases but also reinstate the need to sustain investments to maintain that progress.
“NTDs disproportionately affect the most vulnerable populations, and without continued support, the progress made in managing them will be lost. Investment not only provides the necessary resources for research and treatment, but it also drives innovation and advances in technology, allowing for more effective and efficient ways to tackle these diseases. By committing to sustained investment, we can build on the progress made, eliminate the diseases and provide a brighter future for those affected.”
While reassuring the government’s commitment to the health and well-being of Edo residents, Obaseki stated, “As a government, we understand that a strong and effective health system is key to ensuring the health and well-being of all residents in Edo, and have made it a priority to improve our health systems, address gaps in access to care, and provide resources for those in need.
“We are investing in infrastructure and equipment for health facilities, strengthening disease surveillance and response systems, increasing access to essential medicines, and training and supporting healthcare workers. We have also stepped up awareness campaigns to help prevent the spread of NTDs and other diseases. I believe that by working together and continuing to make these investments, we can build a health system that meets the needs of all residents and guarantees their health and well-being.”