THE Federal Government is to collaborate with the International Scientific Council for Research and Control of Trypanosomiasis to eradicate the scourge of the disease across the African continent.
Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Mr. Bitrus Nabasu, disclosed this when he received a delegation of the council on a visit to his office in Abuja.
Nabasu assured the delegation that the ministry had made adequate preparation to host the bi-annual conference on trypanosomiasis control from September 23 to 27.
He further praised the delegates for their roles and efforts in combating the disease on the African continent.
The permanent secretary said Nigeria modeled its trypanosomiasis research agency after that of the international institute, and expressed gratitude for the assistance received from the institute.
He also urged members of the delegation to inspect facilities at the Nigerian Institute for trypanosomiasis research and advise on possible ways the institute could improve its research activities.
Earlier, the Director for Inter African Bureau for Animal Resources, Professor Ahmed El-Sawalhy, had said that the challenge of the disease was an African problem which must be solved by Africans.
He highlighted the roles of scientists, researchers and stakeholders, especially from the 39 member states and urged them to come up with possible solutions to control and effectively combat the disease.
The Director-General of the Nigerian Institute for Trypanosomiasis and Onchocerciasis Research, Dr Augustine Igwe, said all hands must be on deck to control the spread of the disease.
He said the disease could still recur from border nations and stressed the need to effectively fight it off.
Dr Igwe lauded the role of the agency in publicising the dangers of the disease, which he described as domiciled in rural agrarian communities and highlighted the key techniques adopted to effectively reach the populace, which include town hall meetings and campaign messages in local languages of affected communities.