World NTD Day: Let’s all come together to fight Neglected Tropical Diseases – Dr. Tinkorang
In a concerted effort to tackle Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), the Ashanti Region in Ghana is intensifying its awareness campaigns, with District and Municipal Health Directorates taking the lead.
Marking this year’s World NTD Day, Health Promotion Officers are actively engaging local communities through radio broadcasts and community information centers, shedding light on the causes, prevention, and treatment of these debilitating diseases.
Globally celebrated on January 30th annually, World NTD Day serves as a pivotal moment to raise awareness about NTDs and mobilize support and resources for their eradication.
These diseases, numbering about 20 and predominantly affecting the most vulnerable populations in 149 of the world’s poorest countries, collectively afflict approximately 1.7 billion individuals across Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
In Ghana, there are 14 NTDs managed by respective programs under the Ghana Health Service.
These encompass a range of conditions, from Buruli ulcer to Yaws, each posing unique challenges to public health.
While some progress has been made, with certain diseases like Guinea worm and trachoma eliminated as public health concerns, others such as sleeping sickness are on the brink of elimination, underscoring the importance of sustained efforts.
Dr. Emmanuel Tinkorang, the Ashanti Regional Health Director, has underscored the significance of proactive measures in maintaining and advancing gains made against NTDs.
In a directive issued to all 43 health directorates within the region, Dr. Tinkorang emphasized the need for prioritizing public awareness initiatives and leveraging all available resources to maximize outreach during the awareness campaign.
NTDs, though often not fatal, inflict profound suffering on affected individuals, manifesting in disfigurement, disability, and economic hardship.
By amplifying awareness and promoting preventive measures, communities can better protect themselves against these insidious diseases, ultimately improving overall health outcomes and quality of life.
Moreover, the progress achieved in combating NTDs serves as a testament to the efficacy of concerted efforts and targeted interventions.
With 50 countries having already eliminated at least one NTD, and the global target of 100 countries set for 2030 by the World Health Organization, the trajectory toward eradication is promising, albeit requiring sustained commitment and collaboration at all levels.
As the Ashanti Region takes bold steps to confront NTDs head-on, it exemplifies the collective resolve needed to overcome these persistent health challenges.
By fostering partnerships, raising awareness, and empowering communities, Ghana is poised to make significant strides in the fight against Neglected Tropical Diseases, advancing the vision of a healthier, more resilient society for all.