Sign in
Download Opera News App



How The Late President Yar'Adua Contributed To Fight Against Guinea Worm Disease In Nigeria.

In December 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Nigeria to be free of Guinea Worm Disease (GWD). While several people contributed to making this a success, noteworthy were the efforts of the Late President Umar Musa Yara'Adua who made great contributions to eradicating GWD.

When he was serving as the Executive Governor of Katsina State, just before he became the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, gallantly led and fought GWD to elimination in Karadua, Matazu LGA in Katsina State.

The outbreak was so severe in the community that socioeconomic activities, during that rainy season, were completely paralyzed. Farmers, housewives, and children were bedridden. Schools were closed down because of incapacitation of infected pupils and teachers.

The late Governor and president went from house to house, assessing the horror of the adversity and sympathizing with the victims. After consulting health organizations on what should be done and knowing that health education and provision of safe drinking water were the permanent solutions, he took the following steps:

1. That funds should be released immediately to UNICEF in Kaduna to sink boreholes in all the endemic villages within 2 weeks

2. Personally donated the sum of ₦400,000 to the LGA for the welfare of the victims, including food

3. Directed that healthy young men and migrant farm laborers should be hired to assist on the farms of infected farmers, because it was the peak time for agricultural activities

4. His Excellency personally gave health education and instructed that infected persons should not enter drinking water ponds to avoid contaminating it and spreading the infection and,

5. He informed the community that they should comply with all the health education and other interventions that the NIGEP/TheCarter Center staff were giving.

Within 2 weeks, using two drilling rigs and operating on two shifts, all day and all night, several boreholes (by UNICEF) and hand-dug wells (by the United Nations Development Programme [UNDP]/LGA) had been provided in Karadua and in all other endemic communities in the LGA. The then Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon was called to commission the projects.

Within 3 years, transmission of Guinea worm disease had been interrupted in Matazu LGA. The elimination of the disease in Katsina State was accelerated and accomplished well before Nigeria was officially certified free of GWD in 2013.

According to the WHO, from more than 650,000 cases in 1988 to zero cases, Nigeria has successfully stopped transmission of GWD. Thousands of volunteer polio vaccinators helped to check every household nationwide to ensure that there were no remaining cases before the country could be certified free of guinea-worm disease in December 2013.

Content created and supplied by: Gfingerz1 (via Opera News )

UNICEF Umar Musa Yara'Adua WHO World Health Organization Yar'Adua


Load app to read more comments