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Sightsavers’ Nigeria Country Director elected to key NTD role

17 May 2017 Children in northern Nigeria wait to receive medication as part of a mass drug distribution programme to treat NTDs. Children in northern Nigeria wait to receive medication from local health workers as part of a mass drug distribution programme to treat NTDs.

Sightsavers’ Nigeria Country Director, Dr Sunday Isiyaku, has been elected to lead the non-governmental development organisation (NGDO) coalition for neglected tropical diseases and eye health in Nigeria.

This coalition brings together the organisations helping to fight NTDs and improve eye health services in the country.

The election of Dr Isiyaku highlights the impact Sightsavers has made under his leadership to increase programmes to combat NTDs and make sustainable improvements in eye health services in Nigeria.

Sightsavers’ Regional Director for West Africa, Bakary Marong, welcomed the news, adding: “Dr Isiyaku’s election is a tribute to his strong leadership in Nigeria and his effective collaboration with the federal government, states and other NGOs.”

In a letter to Sightsavers CEO Dr Caroline Harper, Christopher Ogoshi, the outgoing Chair of the NGDO Coalition Group, commended what he described as “the immense contributions that Sightsavers has made and [is] still making towards the elimination of NTDs in Nigeria, notably the contribution towards elimination of trachoma”.

Among the projects Mr Ogoshi singled out for praise are the Global Trachoma Mapping Project, the DFID UNITED initiative and the trichiasis project in Katsina funded by the  Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, as well as the trachoma SAFE project in Kano, and most recently the planned expansion of support for trachoma control in northern Nigeria.

Simon Bush, Sightsavers’ Director of NTDs, said: “We are deeply committed to supporting Nigeria’s ambitious goals to push for elimination of trachoma, onchocerciasis (river blindness) and lymphatic filariasis, and control of schistosomiasis (bilharzia) and soil-transmitted helminths. I am very glad Dr Isikayu’s contribution is getting the recognition it deserves.”

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