Al Amin Al Hassan
Civil Engineering Undergraduate
Al Amin Al Hassan is a Nigerian poet, performer and civil engineering undergraduate at Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, who is determined to use his voice to lead change and address larger human narratives.
His works capture a myriad of themes related to African identity, mental health, history, love and hope.He was a finalist at the Embassy Of Ireland Peace Write Now Essay Competition and recently published in the Issue 31 | January 2021 edition of The Shallow Tales Review.
What inspired you to enter the World NTD Day Story telling competition?
I believe storytelling has always been the best medium with which I’ve been able to express myself and the lived experience of my community. This was no different because I felt it is important to tell the stories of neglected communities and raise awareness on NTDs lending my voice to the voiceless and neglected. After all, these prevalent yet preventable diseases hampers progress in our communities whether we know it or not.
Why does fighting NTDs matter to you?
We know too well the importance of an NTD free community, the elimination of one or more of these diseases means that persons who would have died from ailments that can be cured or are easily prevented will still be alive.
So it is important to me that equal opportunity reaches everyone irrespective of the part or corner of the world that they come from, and this includes proper health care and disease management.
Treating NTDs is important to me because we can accelerate progress in health and sanitation, reduce the social isolation of the affected person or persons and even alleviate the endless cycle of poverty.
How do you intend on continuing the fight against NTDs after this competition?
NTDs pose a threat to the development of endemic countries by trapping the most vulnerable populations in cycles of poverty and young people are also the largest at risk of being affected by NTDs.As a personal effort, I intend to continue creating awareness as a youth who understands the impact and importance of fighting NTDs
I also intend to work with an NGO to ensure that policies are made to tackle superstitious beliefs and stigmatisation that persons affected with one of these NTD’s face through advocacy. The competition did ignite a renewed awareness of NTDs and I plan to continue using my craft for the right course, to speak for those who do not have a voice and also recognise the sacrifice and tireless efforts of our health workers in these struggles and the pandemic.
What would be your request to your country’s leaders regarding fighting NTDs?
My humble request to the leaders in my country is to make NTDs a priority. Follow the global roadmap on NTDs and strive to make policies that eliminate NTD’s in accordance with the SDG’s. Facilitate mass drug administration and introduce an integrated approach to combating these diseases.
Set up local intervention schemes or programs based in communities to have factual data and statistics of individuals suffering from these diseases. Increase collaborative effort in partnering with global communities, private sector and NGOs to ensure the total elimination of NTDs.