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Comedian Jacky Vike lands government job at the Ministry of Health

Comedian and content creator Jacky Vike popularly known as Awinja, has landed an ambassadorial role at the Ministry of Health.

According to the actress, she has been appointed the brand ambassador for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).

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She announced the news of her new appointment on Monday, the day the world is marking the day for neglected tropical diseases, through her Instagram page.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the new Brand Ambassador for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). It was such an honour to get this role during this year’s celebrations. Let us get down to work. Thank you, Ministry of Health and AIHD Kenya for the opportunity to serve the community,” she posted.

Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a diverse group of tropical infections common in low-income populations in developing regions of Africa, Asia, and the Americas. They are caused by various pathogens, such as viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and parasitic worms (helminths).

NTDs impair physical and cognitive development, contribute to mother and child illness and death, make it difficult to farm or earn a living, and limit productivity in the workplace.

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Awinja promised to use her talent to push the agenda she had been mandated with.

“We all know that comedy and art bring people together and that is what I will be basically doing, I will be pushing the agenda through my craft,” she said.

NTDs include bilharzia, Chagas disease, dengue, Guinea worm, sleeping sickness, leishmaniasis, leprosy, river blindness, rabies, scabies, snakebite envenoming, and trachoma.

In 2021, around 1.65 billion people were estimated to require treatment for at least one NTD, of which 857 million were in southeast Asia, and 584 million were in Africa.

The figure was down by 80 million from 2020 and has fallen consistently from 2.19 billion in 2010, the WHO said in a progress report released on World NTD Day.

But 16 countries account for 80 percent of the global NTD burden. They include the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Tanzania.

As of December, 47 countries had eradicated at least one NTD, with eight certified as having eliminated one in 2022 alone.

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