By Humphreys Bomba
The Ministry of Health has called upon development partners to boost investments in Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) control and elimination in the country.
According to a statement released on Friday, signed by the Ministry’s Principal Secretary responsible for Administration Beston Chisamire, Malawi has some NTDs which include Trachoma, Leprosy, Trypanosomiasis, Schistosomiasis, among others.
The statement indicates that despite the country recording fewer NTDs, strides have been made in eliminating the Diseases.
Reads part of the statement; “The country eliminated leprosy whereas the country is reporting less than one case of leprosy per 10, 000 population per year (WHO definition of elimination of Leprosy) and Malawi has continued with active case finding and treatment of leprosy cases to make sure that few cases being reported to get treated promptly in order to eradicate the disease in the country”.
However, the statement further indicates that recently, Trachoma and lymphatic filariasis were eliminated in the country and the government has intensified activities to control Schistosomiasis and Trypanosomiasis.
Last year, about 41 cases of Trypanosomiasis were reported and treated specifically in the districts of Nkhotakota and Rumphi, with the country still reporting a significant number of schistosomiasis cases per year.
The Ministry of Health said through the NTDs programme with support from partners has put in place strategies to eliminate and eradicate Neglected Tropical Diseases in the county.
On January 30th this year, the world will be commemorating the day of Neglected Tropical Diseases with Malawi joining the race to highlight NTD and its devastating impact on families, communities, and development.
In May 2021, the World Health Assembly resolved that world neglected tropical diseases day shall be commemorated annually on 30th January to raise awareness and call for action, because they receive little funding and are almost absent from the global health agenda as well as associated with stigma and social exclusion.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Neglected Tropical Diseases affect over one billion people globally and are widespread in the world’s poorest regions where water safety, sanitation, and access to health care are less than optimal.