Geology Engineering Student
Ichor Joshua has spent his life using his personal and care experiences to impact his society positively. Born and raised in Nigeria, he has been involved in many impact driven projects aimed at solving social and environmental problems.
He is a 20-year-old student at the University of Jos, Nigeria and the Campus director for Hult Prize Foundation as well as the founder of the geopika free water project. Joshua is an inventor, a social innovator and a changemaker. He was recently listed on the opportunity desk impact challenge top30under30 and his long term vision is to provide clean water for vulnerable people in his society.
What inspired you to enter the World NTD Day Story telling competition?
Coming back from school everyday, I usually pass through the famous terminus market in Jos City. Along the footpath, I always see sick people sitting on the floor, begging for alms. Their livelihoods have been taken away by NTDs. They have become unemployed as a result of NTDs, immobilized, disabled and possibly marginalized by society. Oftentimes I ask myself, how can these people be helped? Some of the invalids are not even aware that NTDs are treatable. My inspiration to enter the storytelling competition came from a desire to help these people and many more suffering from NTDs. I believe that creating awareness and sensitizing people about the causes, preventions and cure for NTDs through my drama will contribute to the fight against them in Nigeria.
Why does fighting NTDs matter to you?
NTDs devastate people in Nigeria by taking away their normal lives, careers, happiness and causes marginalization.This in turn has adverse social and economic effects on society. Some of the NTDs patients I have encountered are children.Fighting NTDs matters to me, because I want to see happiness and normalcy return in the lives of the people affected. I don’t want to see the Nigerian children grow up unhealthy as a result of a preventable and curable disease. I want to see an NTD free society where healthy citizens will actively contribute to economic growth and nation building.
How do you intend on continuing the fight against NTDs after this competition?
I intend to continue fighting NTDs in Nigeria by direct participation and sensitization based approaches.I have initiated a free water project for Nigerian communities called geopika free water. It helps vulnerable communities in water stressed conditions access free clean water which prevents water borne NTDs and other diseases. I will also continue creating awareness through videos, print media, radio programmes and social media. We are never out of the fight.
What would be your request to your country’s leaders regarding fighting NTDs?
I request the Nigerian Government to increase budget commitments towards fighting NTDs. Beginning with preventive measures such as ensuring access to clean water in rural communities. The government must also widen its horizon,in terms of support for programmes targeted at combating neglected tropical diseases. New and more effective programmes must be introduced into the Nigeria primary health care systems, to swiftly detect, diagnose and treat NTDs infected citizens.