The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that Nigeria alone bears the burden of over 25% of vector-borne diseases in Africa even as the country has made considerable progress in its fight against such diseases.

The WHO country representative, Dr Rui Gama Vaz stated this yesterday at an event to mark this year’s World Health Day Celebration in Abuja with the theme: Vector-borne Disease: Small Bite, Big Treat. He said it was encouraging to note that progress is being made in Nigeria to tackle vector-borne diseases, saying “Malaria is on the downward trend, river blindness is no longer a public health problem, and government has evolved a clear integrated vector management strategy.”

Responding, the Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu enjoined Nigerians to abandon some traditional practices that promote these diseases, assume responsibility for personal hygiene and good environmental management.

He said “such traditional practices include; staying late in the open, sleeping without clothes or insecticide-treated nets, poor handling of dogs for food, use of dogs to clean-up faeces from children bodies consumption of unwholesome food and water, swimming in dirty waters, blockage of drainage channels and co-habiting with animals and livestocks.”

Vector-borne diseases are illnesses caused by pathogens and parasites in human population.

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