Sight savers, an international organization has celebrated its placement of over billion people on treatment for blindness and other neglected tropical diseases.
Speaking during the celebration in Abuja, Senior Health Advisor, Department for International Department (DFID) and Deputy Team leader from the United Kingdom, Dr Christopher Lewis, said many people were still at risk in Nigeria and the rest of Africa.
He said Sightsavers foundation has played a significant role in driving the change in 29 countries and other local communities.
He said in the next five years, the United Kingdom government would invest the sum of 360 million pounds in protecting over 200 million people suffering from Tricomia and other neglected tropical diseases.
Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole who was represented by the Director Public Health, Mrs Evelyn Ngige, enjoined Non-Governmental Organisations to continue in their efforts on the control and eradication of neglected tropical diseases.
Country Director, Sightsavers Nigeria, Sunday Isiaku said that Nigeria has about 25% of those that are infected in Africa.
Isiaku, said the organization was partnering with the Federal and state governments on providing logistics and technical support to ensure treatment for those who need it.
“These programs are run within the existing health system and the Federal Government has made sure that they are integrated into the health system and are supported by other developing partners including the Sightsavers,” he said.
Chief Executive Officer of Sight savers, Dr. Caroline Harper said that the organization was not relenting in completely terminating blindness and other neglected tropical diseases in Nigeria and other parts of the world.
Harper said there are about 36 million blind people in the world, of which 75% of the blindness can be prevented and also curable.
She added that since the establishment of the foundation six decades ago, it has carried out over 9.9million operations to restore people’s sight as well as provided over one billion treatments for neglected tropical diseases around the world.