Udinese of Italy defender, William Troost-Ekong has created time from his busy spell with the Super Eagles to join a health campaign to throw light on some tropical diseases that are neglected by people and do not have adequate information about them across Africa.
Though Troost-Ekong has just few hours before he lines out for his first ever Africa Cup of Nations, as he joins the Eagles against Burundi on Saturday in Alexandria, Egypt, the Holland-born stopper is not shying away from throwing more light on the largely underrated diseases.
This is sequel to information out of the Eagles’ camp that Troost-Ekong has joined a campaign to draw attention to neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) that affect more than 120 million Nigerians.
The ex-Tottenham Hotspur of England, Haugesund of Norway, Dodricht of Holland, KAA Gent of Belgium and Bursaspor of Belgium stopper is embarking on the campaign in partnership with END Fund and Common Goal health programmes.
Medical information reveals that neglected tropical diseases are a group of parasitic and bacterial infections that affect more than 1.5 billion of the world’s most impoverished people, including 869 million children.
The report states further that such infections include intestinal worms, schistosomiasis, river blindness, trachoma, and lymphatic filariasis, all of which Troost-Ekong is now trying to create awareness of through soccer.
Now that he is set to play at his first AFCON n Egypt, Troost-Ekong admitted he is not thinking only of action on the pitch, as he is also hoping that every Nigerian will participate in free treatment campaigns from several END Fund partners across the country.
In his drive to create more public awareness and promote preventive measures against the rare diseases, the 25-year-old Troost-Ekong has called on any affected Nigerian to seek free treatment.
Troost-Ekong explained: “I joined Common Goal because I wanted to use football as a tool to make a difference.
“I’m proud that we’re partnering with the END Fund to challenge every Nigerian to tackle neglected tropical diseases or NTDs.
“600 million people in Africa need treatment for these diseases with over 120 million living in Nigeria alone.
“Football is a powerful force in Nigeria and as a footballer and parent, I believe we should do everything we can to end these preventable and treatable diseases that stand between you and your goals.
“So the next time a health worker comes to your school, community or place of worship make sure you take the free medicine that they are giving out.
“Keep the ball rolling – spread the word to your family and friends and let’s be the generation to beat NTDs.”