1 The National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Program (NTBLCP) said on Thursday that community engagement was important to improve the reach and end TB by 2030 in Nigeria.
2 National Coordinator of NTBLCP, Dr. Chukwuma Anyaike said this during the launch of community outreach in Gishiri community as part of activities marking the national TB screening in 2022 in Abuja.
3 “We are here to tell the community that TB is a very big problem and kills many people; it is not a respect of persons or status.
4 Because it’s in the air, it makes it more dangerous.
5 “Every year on March 24, the NTBLCP organizes this type of rally, but they have decided not to wait for another March 24 to bring this intervention to the people.
6 “I want to encourage the community to ensure that anyone we find out has TB takes their medicine as prescribed.
seven “The community has to work hand in hand to make sure the person takes their medicine so they don’t infect others.
8 “Furthermore, anyone who has received treatment should not be discriminated against.
9 Once a person is cured, they cannot pass it on to others,” he said.
ten In addition, Dr. Enang Oyama, Nigeria’s National Tuberculosis Officer, WHO, has declared tuberculosis to be a disease of public health importance.
11 “We came to help the community see that they can prevent and care for people who may have tuberculosis.
12 Tuberculosis affects everyone and no one is spared,” Oyama said.
13 He said the disease affects the community socially and economically.
14 “We are here to raise awareness about TB.
15 We also educate them on how to access care and treatment,” he said.
16 Speaking at the event, Gishiri community leader Mr. Bala Akusu said, “We are happy with this program of the Buhari-led administration.
17 “In the community, every tribe is well represented – Fulani, Yoruba, Igbo, Gbagi and other tribes.
Akusu said this intervention would reduce the burden of TB in the community.
19 The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the WHO has declared tuberculosis to be the 13th leading cause of death globally and the second leading cause of infectious death after COVID-19 and .
20 In 2020, around six in 10 people infected with TB were men, with around 10 million people (5.6 million men, 3.3 million women and 1.1 million children) testing positive.
21 A total of 1.5 million people died from tuberculosis during the year.
22 Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis and affects the lungs of people it infects, but it is curable and preventable.
23 The disease is airborne and is spread by coughing, sneezing or saliva.
24 The disease affects all age groups.
25 However, fear of the social stigma associated with a TB diagnosis is causing some Nigerians to delay getting tested for the disease.