The awareness rally, which was part of a two-day programme of events started from the University gate with a three minute stopover at Ifaki Junction. It then moved on to Adebayo road/First Bank area and then to Ijigbo roundabout. Another team, which covered the State Secretariat and ABUAD joined the FUOYE team at Ijigbo where all the teams converged before embarking on a road walk to Oke Iyinmi.
Earlier in the awareness Campaign, the team led by Dr. Mogaji Hammed and other co-organisers like Dr. S. I. Oyedeji, Dr. H. I. Okoh, Dr. M. I. Odoh, had live Radio Programme at Radio Nigeria, Progress FM, 100.5 where they interacted with live audience who participated actively in question and answer session on the essence of the Day.
It would be recalled that Dr. Mogaji Hammed of the Department of Animal and Environmental Biology in the Faculty of Science won a micro-grant of two thousand five hundred ($2,500) USD provided by the Crown Prince Court of Abu Dhabi through the Global Health Strategies to host the first World Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) Day event in FUOYE.
Speaking on the importance of this grant, the Dean, Faculty of Science of the university, Professor Olaide Samuel Lawal said, “In the Faculty of Science, we have always equipped our staff intellectually and prepared them sufficiently to compete for grants. You will recall that few months ago we had a Grantsmanship Workshop and we invited distinguished scholars from many universities. Some eminent scholars were here. The Workshop was to equip our staff, to train them, on how to write grant-winning proposals. This one that was won by one of our staff, Dr. Hammed Mogaji, was as a result of his ability to key into the Workshop.”
The Crown Prince Court of Abu Dhabi micro grant is meant to raise awareness to fight all neglected diseases in the tropics. In doing this the Dean said, “We need to know what these neglected tropical diseases are. You will agree with me that there are some tropical diseases that are already in the limelight of World Health Organizations such as malaria, Tuberculosis, etc, Those ones are already attracting a lot of attention globally, whereas there are other diseases in the tropics that are peculiar to us and they are killing people and people are suffering a lot from them.”
So the grant is to raise awareness about the neglected diseases in the tropics, identify the things can be done for prevention and even if somebody is affected, specify where they can get treatment. We also want to work out strategies on how to prevent continuous infection.
Some of the NTDs identified in the grant-winning proposal were diseases like Guinea worm (Sobia in Yoruba), Human African trypanosomiasis, Leprosy, Elephantiasis, River blindness, Schistosomiasis, Soil-transmitted helminthiases (worms transmitted diseases), Onochocerciasis, Scabies and other ectoparasites. However, wareness would be focused specifically on the diseases that are affecting Ekiti State like Lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis), Onochocerciasis or River blindness, Schistosomiasis or Atosi aja and Soil-transmitted helminthiases or worms infection. These are the ones affecting Ekiti State as captured in the award-winning proposal.
FRSC officials were on hand to direct traffic on all the routes where the awareness campaign took place.