Poor awareness of Tuberculosis Disease causing havoc in Nigeria – NTBLCP
…most Nigerians unaware of enormous burden, symptoms
Stakeholders and partners in the health sector have called for improved awareness of Tuberculosis (TB) disease in Nigeria as the country ranked 6th on the high burdened countries in he world, highest burdened in Africa.
Dr Chukwuma Anyaike, National Coordinator, National Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Buruli Ulcer Control Programme(NTBLCP), made the call in Abuja at a media briefing ahead of the 2023 World TB Day, organized by Stop TB Partnership and the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme (NTBLCP) of the Federal Ministry of Health.
Anyaike said there was still poor awareness about TB in Nigeria, noting that the 40 percent missing TB cases were till causing havoc in the country.
He called on media practitioners to extend the word ‘TB’ to ‘tuberculosis’, noting that most Nigerians were unaware of the enormous burden of the disease and its symptoms, as it can be prevented, diagnosed, treated and cured.
Executive Director, KNCV Nigeria, and Chair 2023 National Word TB Day Planning Committee, Dr Odume Bethrand, disclosed that inadequate funding for TB had remained a key challenge in the implementation of programs and activities geared towards closing the TB detection, treatment and coverage gap which still stands at 66 percent as at the end of 2021.
Odume provided information on the 2023 activities to commemorate World Tuberculosis Day in the country. He said that training sessions for teachers in schools would increase their knowledge about tuberculosis and help them educate their students.
“Teachers,” he said “play a crucial role in educating the community about Tuberculosis and its prevention. We plan to organise training sessions for teachers in schools to increase their knowledge about tuberculosis and to help them educate their students”.
He also stated that there would be a road show, starting from Wuse Market on March 22, 2023.
“As one of the activities for the WTBD, we plan to conduct outreaches to different area councils in FCT to increase public awareness about tuberculosis, promote early diagnosis, and encourage people to seek treatment. A ministerial press briefing will be held on March 24, World Tuberculosis Day, to raise awareness about the impact of tuberculosis on global health and highlight the importance of political commitment in the fight against tuberculosis,” he said.
He disclosed that similar activities would also be supported across the 36 states of the federation.
“This year, in these states and FCT, the tuberculosis programme, working with implementing partners, will be supporting a special ‘TB Testing Week’ to drive daily community active TB case-finding activities,” he said.
Odume stated that these planned activities would help raise more awareness about the impact of tuberculosis in the country and encourage early diagnosis and treatment.
“By working together, we can make progress in the fight against tuberculosis and help create a Nigeria free of tuberculosis,” he said.
In a similar vain, Acting Board Chair, Stop TB Partnership Nigeria, Dr Queen Ogbuji, said in line with the 2023’s theme of the World TB Day, ‘Yes! We can end TB’, Nigeria could end TB if everyone gets involved.
She noted that 24 percent of the total 31 percent of the available funding for the control of TB in Nigeria is from donors.
Ogbuji further said at the end of 2022, the national TB programme was able to notify 285, 000 missing cases which is an equivalent of 60 percent performance for TB cases notification.
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