EDITORIAL - Effects of New Biological Threats on Health Security and Safety in Nigeria: Looking Back and Looking Forward

Friday Okonofua


Over the past decades, several old and new infectious diseases have featured as major contributors to Nigeria’s health vulnerability, with evidence indicating that sufficient gains are yet to be made in tackling their dominance.
Since the colonial and post-colonial periods, Nigeria has witnessed several episodes of serious biological threats from small pox, yellow fever, poliomyelitis, rabies, measles, plaque and several others – and it took years of sustained efforts to reduce their prevalence. Indeed, over the succeeding years, infectious diseases such as dengue fever, lymphatic filariasis, trachoma, leishmaniosis, buruli ulcer, leprosy, dracunculiasis (guinea worm) and Chagas disease became so dominant and sustained within the African region that for lack of a better definition, they have been collectively referred to as “neglected tropical diseases” (NTD) (WHO, 2010). NTD became a dominant lexicon for describing about 20 diseases that had been “neglected” within international programmatic focus and the fact that they affect the world’s largest communities and individuals. To date, the World Health Organization (WHO, 2021) estimates that NTDs affect about one billion persons worldwide, with the majority being residents in sub-Saharan African countries and other low-income countries around the world. Despite the continued expansion of the spheres of these infections, very limited progress has yet been made in restraining the health and social impact of the NTDs, especially in low and middle-income countries.


Biological, Threats, Security, Safety, Nigeria

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