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German Pharma Provides Nigeria $5m Worth Of Drugs To Tackle Schistosomiasis

German Pharma Provides Nigeria $5m Worth Of Drugs To Tackle Schistosomiasis

By Winifred Ogbebo and Victor Okeke

— Nov 23, 2015

A German pharmaceutical giant, Merck, has donated some praziquantel tablets worth $5million US dollars to Nigeria to fight Schistosomiasis, a new form of tropical disease prevalent in Africa.

An estimated 249million people are reported to suffer from the disease, globally with more than 90 percent of those affected living in sub-saharan Africa and 64million patients, predominantly school aged children treated so far from the disease.

Schistosomiasis which is listed as one of the 17 neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) prioritized by the World Health Organisation is said have killed more than 200,000 people.

The disease which usually showcases symptoms of learning disabilities and anemia in children is caused by flatworms and spread through stagnant water.

Over 290million praziquantel tablets have so far been distributed by the German government to countries in sub saharan Africa, including Nigeria.

Chief Executive Officer of Merck,Dr Stefan Oschmann who flagged off the programme in Nigeria by making a symbolic donation of the drugs to a LEA primary school in Karon-Majigi,a rural community in Abuja , said over 20 African countries have benefited from the German medical aid with various neglected tropical diseases constituencies forming the global schistosomiasis alliance in order to help eliminate the disease worldwide.

Director, Public Health, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Bridget Okoeguale, who spoke on behalf of the Permanent Secretary, Amina Shamaki, called for cleaner environment and basic hygiene at homes and the communities.


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