The National Orientation Agency (NOA) says it has entered into partnership with the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control ( NCDC) in the concerted efforts to combat the spread of meningitis.
NOA Director- General, Dr Garba Abari, disclosed this in Abuja on Thursday during a courtesy visit on him by the management of NCDC.
Abari said the partnership became necessary because of the rising death toll from the disease.
According to him, the partnership will enhance the citizens’ awareness about the prevention and control of the disease.
He NOA had the mandate to create awareness and enlightenment on all government programmes and policies.
“Our platform spread across the 774 local government areas of the country.
‘’This partnership will go a long way to create awareness in the grassroots, especially about the disease and how it can be prevented.
“The partnership with NCDC has become inevitable and a necessary tool to curb the spread of the disease in the country.
“NOA sensitisation and mobilisation capacity will be availed to NCDC for the purpose of enlightenment campaign against the spread of the disease.
“This will lead to healthy lifestyle among citizens,” Abari said.
The director-general also said the partnership would ensure that government’s proactiveness in the face of any future unforeseen disease outbreaks.
He urged the citizens to embrace good personal and environmental hygiene.
Abari also said that proper waste disposal must be ensured, especially the avoidance of open defecation, which he said was practiced by almost 50 per cent of rural dwellers.
Earlier, Mr Chikwe Ihekweazu, Chief Executive Officer NCDC said meningitis had so far affected far five states: Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Kebbi and Niger.
He said the panic generated in Abuja and other states by the disease called for a holistic approach to public sensitisation on the disease.
Ihekweazu said NCDC was working with some state governments and primary health care centres across the country to boost their capacities in checking the disease.
He urged the private sector to take up the challenge of vaccine production for local disease prevention in line with world best practices.
NCDC boss commended NOA for accepting to work with NCDC in creating awareness and sensitisation of rural dwellers on the dangers of the disease.