Nigeria took an important step in the global fight against Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) with the launch of a new Five Year Implementation Plan for the control and elimination of diseases of which threaten the health of over 100 million Nigerians.

Launching the plan, Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Prof. C. O. Onyebuchi Chukwu, said the launch marks a turning point in the campaign against the Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) in the country and that successful implementation of the Plan "will rely on strong political commitments and partnership supports at all levels" adding that "an unprecedented momentum now exists among the international health community to overcome the global impact of NTDs."

Prevalence of STH infections in children in Nigeria
Predicted STH infections in Nigeria.
Map courtesy of

Minister of State for Health, Dr. Muhammed Ali Pate, said the event was historic, stressing how NTDs constitute a serious impediment to the socio-economic development and quality of life of affected persons.

"NTDs are a major reason 500 million people in sub-Saharan Africa cannot escape poverty and this situation is unacceptable."

Whilst Nigeria has the greatest number of intestinal helminth infections among all African nations and the greatest number of cases of schistosomiasis worldwide, it has made great strides in combating guinea worm disease and has recently endorsed WHO's African Programme for Onchocerciasis mandate to refocus on river blindness elimination.

Speaking at the event WHO’s Dr Gama Vaz stressed how the lack of integration of neglected tropical programmes into the health system was a major obstacle to sustainability, adding that a sustainable, comprehensive package of interventions is required.

The WHO’s Nigerian representative hoped that Nigeria's 5 year plan would serve as a blueprint for the scale-up of other national NTD control and elimination plans.

Implementation of the master plan is expected to cost the country about $330 million over the next five years.

Further resources

News coverage on the launch

Vanguard: Nigeria takes a stand against Neglected Tropical Diseases