NIGERIA – Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, Nigeria’s leading integrated food and agro- allied group, has partnered with the END Fund to tackle prevalent neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in eight locations across the country.
The END Fund is the only private philanthropic initiative solely dedicated to ending the most commonly neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), which affect more than 1.7 billion people globally.
The investment by FMN into improving health in the country, will specifically support the END Fund in delivering tens of thousands of treatments to those most affected by onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis.
This is aimed to provide relief from the suffering, disability and poor health caused by these diseases, enabling more children to stay in school, and considerably enhancing the quality of life of people receiving the treatments.
Joseph Umolu – Company Secretary and Director, Legal Services, FMN, commented, “The collaboration with the END Fund is significant in many respects and of course aligns with our intervention strategy on health, which is one of the five pillars of our corporate social investments targets for the year.
“We are positive that this initiative will help reduce the prevalence of NTDs and improve Nigeria’s public health indicators.”
The support provided is urgently required to enable Nigeria to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3.3 on ending neglected tropical diseases by 2030.
Oyetola Oduyemi, Director of Public Affairs at the END Fund, commented, “This partnership allows the END Fund to sustain its mission of bringing an end to these preventable illnesses in Nigeria.
“By aligning the broader goals of our two organizations – contributing to improved nutrition and eliminating diseases that place a significant burden on families and health systems – we are jointly working to build a stronger, healthier future for Nigeria.”
According to the World Health Organisation, over 165 million Nigerians require treatment for one or more NTDs, with over 136 million people at risk of lymphatic filariasis, which is more commonly known by its advanced form of elephantiasis; and in excess of 51 million people requiring treatment for onchocerciasis, also known as river blindness.
The country bears approximately 40 per cent of Africa’s NTD burden.
The END Fund has been a key partner in the Nigerian national framework for tackling NTDs and continues to support the country’s plans to eliminate endemic NTDs.
In order to achieve this goal, a multi-stakeholder engagement strategy is crucial, with the private sector playing a fundamental role.
The partnership with FMN Plc supports the safe delivery of life-changing treatments to affected communities in Gombe, Osun, Ondo, Oyo, the Federal Capital Territory, Bauchi, Akwa Ibom, and Ekiti.