The Super Eagles defender, William Ekong in partnership with the END Fund and Common Goal have started an aggressive campaign against the killer’s diseases popularly known as Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) that affect more than 120 million Nigerians.
Nigeria national team defender who appears in a 48 seconds public service announcement where he calls on affected Nigerians to seek free treatment.
Neglected tropical diseases are a group of parasitic and bacterial infectious diseases that affects more than 1.5 billion of the world’s most impoverished people, including 869 million children. They include intestinal worms, schistosomiasis (bilharzia), river blindness, trachoma, and lymphatic filariasis.
Ekong, who is preparing to represent the Super Eagles at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, is hoping that every Nigerian will participate in the free treatment campaigns from several END Fund partners across the country.
According to him, like the rest of the team, I joined Common Goal because I wanted to use football as a tool to make a difference. I’m proud that we’re partnering with the END Fund to challenge every Nigerian to tackle NTDs.
“600 million people in Africa need treatment for these diseases with over 120 million living in Nigeria alone.
“Football is a powerful force in Nigeria and as a footballer and parent, I believe we should do everything we can to end these preventable and treatable diseases that stand between you and your goals.
“So the next time a health worker comes to your school, community or place of worship make sure you take the free medicine that they are giving out. Keep the ball rolling – spread the word to your family and friends and let’s be the generation to beat NTDs,” he concluded
On his part Director and National Coordinator of the Neglected Tropical Diseases Elimination Programme, Federal Ministry of Health Nigeria, Dr. Chukwuma Anyaike, described the campaign as an important opportunity to bring attention to NTDs in the country.
“We are very delighted to have William join the Federal Ministry of Health and our partners in Nigeria’s fight against neglected tropical diseases, we hope that this campaign helps to highlight the importance of the fight against NTDs in Nigeria and across the continent.”
The campaign will run on local radio and television stations during the months of June and July across the following states: Ekiti, Ondo, Osun, Gombe, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi and Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory. It will also feature on digital platforms nationwide as well and include targeted SMS messaging.