Case-finding has been described as one of the challenges in ridding the nation of tuberculosis and advocacy has been touted as one of the ways to tackle it, according to the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme (NTBLCP).
This was revealed by the programme’s director and head of advocacy, communication and social mobilization, Itohowo Uko, during a road-walk to commemorate activities to commemorate the global calendar day and raise awareness residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on the disease and the need for testing and treatment.
The 2022 World TB Day, themed “Invest to End TB – Give more, Do more, End TB Now” has seen a highlighting of emphasis on improving testing and finding missing cases.
“We want to raise public awareness on tuberculosis, to sensitise the public that there is a disease known as tuberculosis that is treatable and treatment is free. Anyone experiencing a cough for more than two weeks, feeling fatigued or losing weight should get tested for tuberculosis,” Uko said.
Similarly, the national coordinator, NTBLCP, Dr. Chukwuman Anyaike, said Nigeria is sitting on a keg of gunpowder in terms of tuberculosis prevalence as the country is number one in Africa; hence the need to create more awareness on TB, to end it in Nigeria.
‘’The roadshow is primarily to augment our strides towards creating awareness because we believe it it’s a strategy to attract attention and make people know more about tuberculosis. Our target is to end tuberculosis and ensure that no one is left behind,” he said.
Speaking on efforts to sustain the enlightenment of the populace on the prevalence of tuberculosis in Nigeria, the programme manager, tuberculosis, Association for Reproductive and Family Health, Dr. John Osho said a year-long activity has been planned to help sustain the awareness creation on tuberculosis in the country.
“Sustained awareness is key as the disease is curable but a lot of people believe this disease is not curable. Presently, there is low knowledge of tuberculosis amongst people. This is the reason why we need to continue to enlighten the populace, to inform them about tuberculosis so they can become more knowledgeable about tuberculosis,” he added.