Nigeria joins global community on TB awareness

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Monica Nwabueze, Lagos.

March 23rd of every year is used to draw attention to Tuberculosis (TB) by raising public awareness on the devastating health, the socio-economic impact of TB and to set up efforts to eradicate it globally.

The day is a significant day for marking the discovery of the causative agent of this contagious disease, Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

It is also a means to have a retrospect on the discovery of this deadly bacterium in 1882 by renowned scientist and a Nobel Prize winner in Physiology/Medicine, Dr Robert Koch, paving the way towards effective diagnosis and a cure for the disease.

Recently, Heads of State and other stake-holders came together at the first-ever United Nations high-level meeting on TB in New York, United State to deliberate on the imminent crisis TB still poses today.

Political resolution

The meeting ended with a firm resolution to end TB in its entirety across the world. This united political resolution is what subsequently informs the theme for this year’s World TB Day: “It’s Time!”

TB is of global concern which does not discriminate age, gender, skin color or even faith background. Therefore, this fight against TB should not be left alone with the few ‘resolution makers’ at the UN meeting. A collective effort is needed to prevail against this killer monster, TB. Yes, now IT’S TIME for us all to work hand in hand to create a TB-FREE world!

Statistics have shown that at least 18 Nigerians die from TB every hour and over 75% of the Nigerian population with the disease are yet to be diagnosed or receive any form of treatment.

These disturbing figures have been attributed to lack of TB awareness across the country and also the social stigma TB patients or people diagnosed with TB are subjected to.

To raise further awareness in Nigeria, the Damien foundation a non govermental organisation that has been in the forefront of creating awareness on TB has lined up programs across the states where it operate. Kicking off with the visit to the General Hospital, Gbagada, Lagos State.

The visit will be done with some expatriates from the NGO’s Brussels Office.

Damien foundation will also be visiting the Fulani Cattle Settlement at Bode-Igbo, Ido Local Government Area, along Omi – Adio, Abeokuta road Ibadan on 28th

PR/ Monica Nwabueze/Lateefah Ibrahim