By Kunle Adedoyin
Lagos State Government has concluded arrangements to embark on medical intervention campaign against Schistosomiasis, a neglected tropical disease which is endemic in seven local government areas of the state.
Professor Akin Abayomi, the State Commissioner for Health, who disclosed this at this weekend, explained that the state would commence mass administration of medicines for the control of Schistosomiasis in identified local government areas.
The affected councils are: Ikeja, Ifako-Ijaiye, Amuwo-Odofin, Oshodi-Isolo, Agege, Lagos Mainland and Alimosho.
Abayomi added that health workers will go round schools, homes and other important places to administer on children between ages five and 14 from Monday 2nd to Sunday, December 8, 2019.
He, therefore, urged parents and guardians to ensure that their children and wards eat well before taking the drugs.
Abayomi noted that the administration of medicines for control of the disease during the weeklong campaign would be carried out by the state government in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health, World Health Organisation (WHO) and Mission to Save the Helpless (MITOSATH).
He explained that Schistosomiasis, also known as snail fever and bilharzia, is a disease caused by parasitic flatworms called schistosomes and acquired when people come into contact with fresh-water infested with the larval forms of flatworms adding that the microscopic adult worms live in the veins draining the urinary tract and intestines.
Abayomi further stated that most of the eggs laid are trapped in the tissues and the body’s reaction to them can cause massive damage.
He listed symptoms of the disease to include: abdominal pain, diarrhoea, bloody stool, or blood in the urine with the possibility of death in the case of chronic schistosomiasis.
The commissioner said that neglected diseases such as Schistosomiasis causes significant implications for the wellness and wellbeing of the society and the people, a noting that development in any society cannot be sustainable without maintaining the health of its citizens.