DOH vows to end neglected tropical diseases
MANILA, Feb. 23 (PNA)--The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday spearheads the 5th Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) Forum in Cebu City as it assures of its commitment in ending neglected tropical diseases.
The assurance was made through the theme: “Evidence Based Technologies to Accelerate the Gains of NTD Elimination, A New Hope”.
In the forum, DOH Secretary Paulyn Ubial affirmed that through the newly established Philippine Health Agenda, shared vision, process of national and local interface and public-private partnership, addressing a health and development issue such as NTD would be attainable.Ubial also said that year after year, through the Stakeholders Forum, they were able to deepen their understanding of the many issues and challenges faced while at the same time acknowledging the need for a collective response and finding solutions together.
"We continuously move forward with a shared vision: “End NTDs by 2030," she said..
According to the World Health Organization, Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) are diverse group of communicable diseases that prevail in tropical and sub-tropical conditions in 149 countries which affect more than one billion people, costing developing economies billions of dollars every year. They mainly affect populations living in poverty, without adequate sanitation and in close contact with infectious vectors and domestic animals and livestock.
In the Philippines these includes leprosy, rabies, schistosomiasis, filariasis, soil-transmitted helminthiasis, and food and water-borne diseases.
DOH emphasized that four areas will be concentrated in order to diminish NTDs:
(1) Interrupting transmission through continuous collaboration with national government agencies like the Department of Agriculture in the dog vaccination program, interrupting rabies transmission;
(2) Elimination of Stigma by stressing that people affected with NTDs need not be alienated because of their disease;
(3) Halting the Progression of Disability by administering annual check-up nationwide among the poorest of the poor, enabling early detection and treatment for such diseases; and
(4) Overcoming the effects of NTDs as DOH continues to identify those who have potential exposure to NTDs and in return, they will be provided with preventive chemotherapy, which have been fruitful in the DOH’s campaign against schistosomiasis. Soil transmitted helminthiasis and lymphatic filariasis.
Meanwhile, she congratulated tose who contributed in the movement to end NTDs.
"I have always believed that health is everybody’s concern, not just the government but the whole society. Together, let us continue to march towards our goal of a healthier and more productive Philippines for the next generation to come. Let us commit ourselves to work towards one shared vision: All for Health towards Health for All!," the Health Chief said.(PNA)