UCCSMS Receives Books on Neglected Tropical Diseases, Sub-Saharan Africa

The University of Cape Coast School of Medical Sciences (UCCSMS) was among four public Medical Schools in the country that received copies of the first edition of Neglected Tropical Diseases(NTDs),  Sub-Sahara Africa written by 42 African Scientists The Dean of the School of Medical Sciences, Prof. Francis Ofei received the books on behalf of UCCSMS during the launch of the book at the University of Ghana. Representatives from the University of Ghana (UG); Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST); University for Development Studies (UDS) and the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) received the books on behalf of their medical schools. The book which was edited by Professor Gyapong and Dr. Boakye Boatin identifies 13 of the current diseases that have been identified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as endemic in several countries in Africa as Neglected Tropical Diseases. NTD’s are the major diseases that affect the poor and can actually precipitate extreme poverty. Some of the NTDs captured in the book include Guinea worm which is now endemic in Chad, Ethiopia, Mali and Southern Sudan with buruli ulcer and yaws forming the second group. The next group is trypanosomiasis followed by Leprosy, Podoconiosis (Endemic Non-Filarial Elephantiasis), Lymphatic Filariasis (Elephantiasis) Onchocerciasis (River Blindness) and Trachoma (that also causes blindness). The last group is Leishmaniasis and Loiasis (also known as the African eye worm). The book also discusses the challenges facing initiatives to eliminate NTDs. It spells out the population at risk, distribution, transmission, diagnosis and controlled measures of the 13 NTDs identified. In addition, it addresses the issues related to the social, cultural and economic impact of these diseases in Africa. It further discusses the social and economic impact of NTDs in sub-Saharan Africa by throwing light on the economic burden to countries affected by these diseases. The role of health systems in the control of NTDs is well explained in the book. It recommends ways of strengthening health systems to reduce the burden of these diseases through effective elimination programmes. The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Prof. Ernest Aryeetey who chaired the function commended the scientists for their significant contribution towards knowledge and making recommendations to eliminate these diseases.