25 million Ghanaians are exposed to NTDs due to poor sanitation

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NTDs
NTDs

About 25 million Ghanaians are highly exposed and risk contracting Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), Mr Raphael Godlove Ahenu, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Global Media Foundation (GLOMeF), a health-centered media advocacy non-governmental organisation has said.

This is basically due to poor sanitation and lack of potable drinking water, Mr Ahenu told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview on the sidelines of a community sensitization forum on NTDs held at Dumasua in the Sunyani West Municipality.

The forum, according to Mr Ahenu was in line with a project being implemented by his NGO and two others, Tim Aid Africa Ghana (TAAG) and Indigenous Women Empowerment Network (IWEN) to fight Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) in the Bono and Ahafo Regions.

Anesvad Foundation, an international NGO which supports health and social development projects in Asia, Latin America and Africa is funding the implementation of the 24-month project in Asunafo North Municipal in Ahafo as well as the Sunyani West Municipality and Tain District of the Bono at the cost of 180,000 euros.

Titled: “community integration and system strengthening project against skin NTDs,” the project aims at contributing to reducing morbidity, disability, and the psychosocial impacts of skin and NTDs in the implementing districts.

Mr Ahenu said the project would construct a number of boreholes to improve access to potable drinking water and further promote environmental cleanliness and personal hygiene in deprived communities in the project implementing districts.

He expressed worry that successive governments had shown little concern in the fight against NTDs including buruli ulcer, yaws, leprosy, mental health, elephantiasis, and others, and called for community support to enable the project to achieve desirable outcomes.

Mr Ahenu said without the support of the local communities, the project could not make significant outcomes, and called for cooperation and support from assembly members, traditional authorities and other opinion leaders in the project implementation districts.

He said the beneficiary districts were selected on merit, saying NTDs remained a serious public health problem in the country which required the support of all to tackle, saying the project also needed the assistance of the media to increase awareness creation for people to understand the remote causes and immediate symptoms of the NTDs.    

Mr Ahenu commended the funding organisation, and expressed the hope that the district and municipal assemblies would support the project implementation to achieve desirable outcomes.

As part of the forum, which was attended by chiefs and queens, health workers and school children, the NGO organized free health screening exercises for the residents of Dumasua to know their various health conditions.

More than 200 residents, including the aged and school children benefited from the exercise to know their sugar levels, blood group and pressure, body mass index and NTDs status.

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