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Foundation urges government to prioritise TB prevention, treatment

by Haruna Gimba
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By Muhammad Amaan

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) has called on the government to prioritise prevention and treatment level of Tuberculosis (TB) to meet the 2030 global target of eliminating the disease in Nigeria.

The Advocacy and Marketing Manager, AHF Nigeria, Mr Steve Aborisade, made the call in a statement, in commemoration of the 2024 World TB Day, with a theme, “Yes! we can end TB.”

Aborisade described TB as one of the world’s deadliest infectious diseases and leading cause of death for people living with HIV, yet 100 per cent preventable and treatable.

According to him, AHF Nigeria in partnership with other stakeholders, will sensitise the public on prevention and free TB treatment in FCT, Benue, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Cross River, Kogi and Nasarawa states.

“We will be honouring the millions of lives lost to TB, while urging leaders at all levels of government to prioritise TB prevention and treatment efforts.

“Through dedicated radio awareness effort, AHF Nigeria with officials from the office of TB focal persons in these states shall be educating the public on TB prevention and creating awareness about the availability of free TB treatment across Nigeria.

“Through this effort, all the TB Directly observed Therapy (DOT) centers across AHF Nigeria states of operations shall be popularised.

“This will enable people to be aware of where to seek help for TB treatment and be knowledgeable about identifying cases and referring them to care and treatment.”

Dr. Echey Ijezie, AHF Nigeria Country Programme Director, stressed the need for awareness creation and access to HIV and TB testing.

“It is important for stakeholders to create greater awareness about TB and ensure that people get tested for it and HIV.

“TB is treatable while the treatment is quite accessible and free across Nigeria.

“It is in this regard that AHF Nigeria is happy to contribute to the existing efforts of the Nigerian TB programme.

“Through awareness creation and driving greater community involvement and participation through the strategic engagement of community-based organizations (CBOs) and their civil society (CSOs) counterparts.”

According to the World Health Organisation, TB claimed 1.3 million lives in 2022, including 167,000 people living with HIV, with an estimated nearly 11 million people falling ill to TB worldwide.

The World TB Day is observed annually on March 24 to renew commitment, inspire and take action to end TB globally.

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