As part of activities lined up to commemorate the 2023 Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) Day, the Ogun State Government has organized a quiz competition for schoolchildren selected from basic and secondary schools across the State.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker, while delivering a keynote address during the event held at Abeokuta Grammar School, Idi-Aba, said the quiz competition was a reflection of the government’s intention to invest in NTDs by increasing the awareness of school children about the diseases.
She said NTDs are caused by parasites and Bacteria, which are mainly associated with poverty and common in environments with poor hygiene, inadequate or lack of potable water supplies and poor living conditions, enlisting disabilities, and stigmatization as some of the consequences of the diseases.
Describing the theme, “Act Now. Act together. Invest in NTDs”, as apt and of utmost importance for all stakeholders, Coker said investing in sensitization of children across the State will create a ripple effect in society, ranging from better education to improved health and employment outcomes for residents.
“Ending NTDs will make our health system more resilient and our world a more equitable and safer place. For us to ACT together, I want to implore you all (the Learners) to be good ambassadors of NTDs in educating your peers on the menace and morbidity associated with neglected tropical diseases, Communicating behavioural changes,”
“The truth is that NTDs are preventable and curable, and will not be neglected by this administration with support from our partners. Since the inception of this administration, we have consistently provided free treatment for millions of residents in areas with a high prevalence of NTDs in our State. We regularly sensitize our people on hygiene promotion activities through our community mobilizers,” She said.
The Commissioner, while appreciating all partners for their commitment to the fight against NTDs, called parents, teachers, religious leaders, the media, philanthropists, corporate organizations, community leaders, and other relevant stakeholders to join the government in drawing a roadmap toward achieving Health Equity.
The Director, Public Health, Ministry of Health, Dr. Olukayode Soyinka, in his welcome address, said the quiz competition which was the second edition, was intended to scale up sensitization of the public through the participants whom he described as “vanguards of change”.
In his goodwill message, Water and Sanitation Officer, UNICEF Akure Field Office, Dr. Bisi Orebiyi, described the competition as a great initiative, saying it would improve the knowledge of the participants about NTDs and encourage them to cascade what they learned to their peers and other members of the community.
Front Foundation College, Shokoto Town, Olosun, Abeokuta, May Fair School, Ibafo, and Migration Model College, Ijebu-Ode came first, second, and third respectively in the Secondary School Category of the Quiz Competition while Migration Montessori School, Ijebu-Ode, Prince and Princess Imperial School, Bode Olude, Abeokuta, and
Greenbridge Integrated School, Sokori, Abeokuta came first, second, and third respectively in the Primary School Category.