2024 World Tuberculosis Day: Borno Govt, WHO, Others Flag Off Commemoration Programme

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 *Each day, close to 3,800 people lose  lives to TB,  about 30,000 people fall ill to TB – Prof Gana , Borno Health Com

By; SADIQ ABUBAKAR, Maiduguri

Borno State Ministry of Health and Human Services in collaboration with World Health Organization (WHO) and partners has organized  a one day commemoration activity to mark 2024 World Tuberculosis Day held at PHEOC Eye Hospital Conference Hall  in  Maiduguri on Monday, with a theme,” Yes, we can end TB”.

The Borno State Commissioner of Health and Human Services, Professor  Baba  Malam Gana said each day, close to 3,800 people lose their lives to TB and about 30,000  fall ill  with this preventable and curable disease.

Processor Baba Malam  who stated this on Monday at the commemoration activity to mark 2024 World Tuberculosis Day at the PHEOC Eye Hospital Maiduguri Conference Hall, added that global efforts to combat TB has saved an estimated 75 million lives since the year 2000. 

While emphasizing  that  tuberculosis remains  an important public health problem in Borno State and awareness about the disease, it diagnosis, and treatment among  the public will help in controlling the disease and reduce it to a drastically level if not eradicate it completely.

He said with the present   cases, a TB person can spread or extend to about 10-15 other persons in a community which makes it dangerous and to be prevented and treated with all seriousness while calling on the media as partners in progress to help dissemination and educate the public on the availability of free drugs and diagnosis as well as treatment for TB across the nooks and crannies of the 27 LGAs of the state.

Processor Gana further appreciated WHO and other health partners for their significant role and support to address the issues and challenges of TB in Borno state where WHO have signed an MoU to assist and support the Borno state government overcome the predicament and training in capacity biuldung of 60 TB handlers and coordinators at the 27 LGAs and some  TB  state managers and officers  team participated in the training while sophisticated equipments and other apparatus have been provided by WHO.

He charged the media to collaborate with the ministry and it’s partners in the campaigns on TB prevention and treatment in order not to allow a split over to neighbouring countries if Chad, Niger and Cameroon Republics as TB is transmissible, dangerous as a killer disease but can be prevented and cured or treated.

The State Commissioner added that Predisposing factors associated with tuberculosis includes poverty, insecurity, crowding, under nutrition, and co morbidities, pointing out that, people need to be health educated on importance of cough hygiene, cross ventilation and nutrition.

“And also to create awareness on cause of tuberculosis and it sign and symptoms which include cough for two week and above, Weight loss, fever and night sweat by the media.

“Also on importance of contact tracing. We should not leave the fight against tuberculosis for government and partners alone its need collaborative effort from household, community, religion leaders and these will be achieve through advocacy, communication and social mobilization.

“We have seen the political will and commitment in the state in fight against tuberculosis, support from WHO and other partners with that collaborative effort, we will change narrative of tuberculosis in Borno state,” Gana said 

 Borno State TB  Programme Manager, Dr. Goni Imam said World Tuberculosis Day is an Annual event  being observed worldwide to sensitize and enlightenment as well as educate the public on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of TB which has been identified as a killer disease and dangerous to human health globally.

He added that efforts have so far been made by the ministry to ensure low level or total reduction of not of the eradication  of the disease which affects both the children and adult.

Dr. Imam also noted that despite the high level percentage of the prevalence if the disease in Nigeria and also Borno state, measures are being put in place to bring to an end TB in the state in line with the WHO support through capacity biuldung and equipments as well as other diagnostics and treatment machines and drugs aming others.

The TB Programme Manager thanked WHO and other partners for their support and interventions in TB and other related diseases in all the books and crannies of the state  at this monumental period.

“People with tuberculosis are among marginalized and vulnerable and face barriers in accessing care. Stigmatization and discrimination are major drivers of the tuberculosis epidemic, despite it is preventable, treatable and curable.

“The year 2024 is the year of action with positive outcome At conclusion, I appreciate the effort of public sectors such HMB, SPHCDA, EMERGENCY OPERATION CENTER AND BOSCHMA for their support in tuberculosis case finding and management,” Dr. Imam said.

State Coordinator WHO,  Borno, .Dr Ibrahim Salisu  commended Zulum  for his support and provision of enabling environment for partners to support the state. 

He said, ” We are all gathered to mark the 2024 World Tuberculosis (TB) Day. Tuberculosis has plagued humanity for centuries, claiming countless lives and inflicting untold suffering on individuals, families, and communities worldwide. 

“There was a significant worldwide recovery in the scale-up of TB diagnosis and treatment services in 2022. It shows an encouraging trend starting to reverse the detrimental effects of COVID-19 disruptions on TB services.

“Despite significant strides in medical science and public health, TB remains a formidable global health threat, particularly in vulnerable and marginalized populations. TB is present in all countries and age groups. But TB is curable and preventable.

“Today, as we gather to commemorate World Tuberculosis (TB) Day, we come together not just to raise awareness but reaffirm our commitment to combating one of the oldest and deadliest diseases known to humanity.

” It’s a day to reflect on our progress, acknowledge our challenges, and renew our dedication to ending the suffering caused by TB. In order to scale up TB case detection and treatment in Borno State, WHO has just concluded the training of over 60 State and LGAs TB and Leprosy Control Managers, including some partners and CBOS on TB program management,” Dr. Salisu said.

Dr. Salisu added  after the training, WHO will continue to provide technical support, drugs and commodities and ensure adequate case detection, treatment and data management. All hands must therefore be on deck to change the TB narrative in Borno State.

He added that the theme of the World TB Day 2024 ‘Yes! We can end TB!’ – conveys a message of hope that getting back-on-track to turn the tide against the TB epidemic is possible through high level leadership, increased investments in TB Control efforts and faster uptake of new WHO recommendations. 

WHO State Coordinator  also  commended  Governor and Honorable Commissioner for Health for allocating nearly 15% of the total state budget to the Health Sector, pointing out that, “with this allocation, we believe that there would be adequate resources to support all health programs, including the TBL program in the state.”

“In its latest Global Tuberculosis Report, WHO highlighted that more than 7.5million people with TB received access to diagnosis and treatment in 2022, the highest since we began monitoring almost 30 years ago.

“On behalf of WHO team in Borno, I wish to recognize the Ministry of Health under the leadership of Professor B. M Gana for the giant strides achieved and the strong collaboration we are enjoying today,” Dr. Salisu  said.

 Highlights of the event include road walk/street show for Public Awareness from State Epidemiological Unit (SEU) to Emergency Operations Center (EOC)  Eye Hospital  Damboa Road Maiduguri , presentation on childhood TB-MSF Belgium, Interview of TB Survivors, songs and photographs among others.

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