Cameroon: Neglected Tropical Diseases - Over 1,000 Surgeries Conducted in Two Regions

This was within a five year project to manage morbidity and prevent disability from these diseases in the North and Far North Regions.

A workshop to end the five- year project on the Morbidity Management and Disability Prevention (MMDP) of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) conducted in the North and Far North Regions officially ended yesterday May 7, 2019 in Yaounde with tremendous results recorded.

Carried out by an international NGO, Helen Keller, in partnership with the Ministry of Public Health and funding from the United States Agency for International Development, the project, which began in 2014 to reduce the burden of NTD diseases in both regions targeted debilitating outcomes of trachoma and Lymphatic filariasis (LF) infections.

The Country Director of Helen Keller, Ismael Teta, said throughout the project's life, over 1,000 surgeries was performed on vulnerable people in both regions suffering from the lymphoedema (elephantiasis) and hydrocele. He noted that approximately 900 people received trichiasis surgery, 106 underwent hydrocele surgeries, 80 previous hydrocele patients were reached for follow-up, 175,156 people were screened of trichiasis (TT), 983 were confirmed to have TT and 112 lymphedema cases were trained in self-care.

The main goal of the project, according to Ismael Teta, was to train surgeons and nurses to provide TT and hydrocele surgeries as well as follow post-operative protocols. The Ambassador of the United States of America to Cameroon, Peter Henry Barlerin said together with the government and through their partners, over 253 million dollars have been spent on treatment to those at risk of active infection across Cameroon.

He added that through generous donation from American companies, an estimated 380 million dollars in medicine has been leveraged for treatments in the country. Although MMDP is ending, the Ambassador said the U.S government will continue through a new programme to eliminate NTDs in Cameroon and 10 other countries in Africa.

The Minister of Public Health, Malachie Manaouda lauded support from the U.S in curbing NTDs and was glad to launch the Acts to End NTDs/West project, which is also a five-year project, spearheaded by Helen Keller and still financed by USAID.

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