Panic as strange disease that causes swollen legs hits Bauchi

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A strange illness suspected to be onchocerciasis or lymphatic filariasis that causes swollen legs has hit Bara village in Kirfi local government area of Bauchi State. The Executive Chairman, Bauchi State Primary Health Care Development Agency (BASPHCDA), Dr. Rilwanu Mohammed, disclosed this on Monday while briefing newsmen on the commemoration of the 2021 World Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) Day celebration.

He noted that out of the 15 affected villagers, ten have been hospitalized. “Late Sunday evening, we got a report that people’s legs were swelling up in Bara village. The reports have it that 10 people have been affected. I have directed the Disease Control Department of the agency to mobilise its team to the village to find out what the problem is. “We are suspecting onchocerciasis or lymphatic filariasis, considering that the local government area is one of the areas that has had cases of tropical diseases in the past. We will swing into action to curb the spread after our preliminary investigation,” he noted. Speaking on NTDs, Rilwanu said 1million Bauchi residents are suffering from tropical diseases among the 1billion in the world, adding that the disease is caused by poor sanitation and lack of potable water. He pointed out that as of now, Bauchi State has onchocerciasis in 12 LGAs, lymphatic filariasis in 11 LGAs, schistosomiasis in 16 LGAs, trachoma in 2 LGAs, but noted that Guinea worm has already been eradicated in Nigeria. Rilwanu Mohammed added that for morbidity management and prevention, the state was working with UNICEF and a local NGO, Mission To Save the Helpless (MITOSATH). For the 2020 treatment cycle, he said that the state was able to collect and distribute 9 million tables of Ivermectin, 1.9m tablets of Albendazole, 1.7m tablets of Praziquantel, 18 motorcycles for NTDs endemic LGAs and trained 500 health workers on NTD medicines supply chain management, including 500 community volunteers on hygiene promotion on collaboration with RUWASSA.

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