By; MATTHEW UKACHUNWA, Lagos
40 per cent of HIV-related deaths in Nigeria is linked to Tuberculosis (TB), Nigeria’s AIDS control agency has disclosed, but WHO argues that a third of people with TB globally are not diagnosed.
In recent years, explained National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), an estimated 1,200,000 people living with HIV (PLWHIV) have died from complications arising from TB.
According to NACA’s Director-General, Dr. Sani Aliyu, TB and HIV control programmes are “intrinsically linked and have many things in common.”
Aliyu said that a collaborative effort backed by a coherent and robust approach at national and sub-regional levels by governments and partners will go a long way towards tackling the twin scourge and ensuring a TB-HIV-free generation.
TB claims 5,000 lives each day, making it the world’s top killer infectious disease, World Health Organization (WHO) expatiated.
“More than a third (4.3 million) of people with TB go undiagnosed, or unreported, some receive no care at all and others access care of questionable quality,” the UN healthcare organ stressed.
WHO expressed determination to end the stigma to which TB patients are exposed.
It said discrimination and other barriers have hindered many people suffering from TB from obtaining the healthcare services they need.
“Poverty, malnutrition, poor housing and sanitation, compounded by other factors such as tobacco, alcohol use, and diabetes can put people at heightened risk of TB and make it harder for them to access care,” WHO elaborated.
WHO launched the “New WHO TB Ethical Guide on 2017 World TB Day as an addendum to its End TB Strategy.
“Only when evidence-based effective interventions are informed by a sound ethical framework, and respect for human rights”, are in place “will we be successful in reaching our ambitious goals of ending the TB epidemic and achieving universal health coverage, WHO declared.
It added that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aspiration of leaving no one behind is centred on the above declaration.
World TB Day is an opportunity to mobilize political and social commitment for further progress in efforts to end TB.
The first ever “Global Ministerial Conference on Ending TB” will be held in Moscow in November 2017, WHO announced, adding: “The conference will inform the UN (United Nations) General Assembly high-level meeting on TB which will be held in 2018.”