Stakeholders call for inclusion of Neglected Tropical Diseases on NHIS, LEAP

Medical Medicine

Stakeholders at an advocacy meeting on persons living with neglected Tropical Diseases, (NTDs) have called on state actors to include them on special government programmes.

They established that one of the major challenges of persons suffering from these NTDs was the low-income levels which ultimately affected their ability to pay for health care and daily living.

Such diseases, particularly Lymphatic Filariasis/Elephantiasis with its associated leg enlargement and acute pain made most affected unable to work and earn income.

Meanwhile, the disease condition is endemic in 116 Districts across 12 Regions of the country with an estimated patient of 5,400.

Dr. Joseph Kwadwo Larbi Opare, the National Programmes Manager for the NTDs explained that the disease was not spiritual, or a curse as had been the notion over the years, but a parasitic infection from an infected mosquito.

He said so far, many results had been achieved through mass drug administration, education and awareness and morbidity management.

He said Lymphatic filariasis could affect one’s breast, hand, penis, vulva, and the scrotum among other.

Dr. Opare said Ghana was gradually winning the fight against the condition as 109 District have eliminated the condition.

The condition, invariably, made the affected disabled by inhibiting normal life processes, thus requiring the affected to rely on aids to properly function.

He added that, the programme through the morbidity management intervention had done well in alleviating the suffering of patients adding, ‘when we are able to put them on LEAP, NHIS and other social schemes, we are halfway giving both the affected and the family some hope’.

Dr. Gifty Amugi, the Western Regional Deputy Director of Health Services said the target was to end new infections and ensure that the affected lived a dignified life.

She reiterated that the condition was not from any evil source but career mosquito, hence the need to keep one’s surroundings clean.

Also, Health professionals, family, and community at large
were encouraged not to stigmatise such persons as disability was everyone’s lot at any time.

Source: Ghana News Agency