The Nigerian Thoracic Society (NTS) has called on the Nigerian government to be at the forefront of global efforts to eradicate Tuberculosis (TB).
The Society, in a statement issued by its President, Prof P.U. Ele and the Secretary General, Dr Abiona Odeyemi to mark the World TB Day, said Nigeria needs to be at the forefront because the disease claimed thousands of lives each year.
March 24 of each year is set aside to commemorate World TB Day. This date marks the day in the year 1882
when Dr Robert Koch, German physician and microbiologist, announced that he had discovered the organism that causes TB.
This discovery opened the way for the diagnosis and treatment of the disease. This day is set aside to raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of TB, and to step up efforts to end the global TB epidemic.
TB remains the world’s deadliest infectious killer after COVID-19. Globally about 1.6 million deaths occurred from TB alone as at end of 2021.
Eight countries contributed more than two thirds of the global mortality, namely, India, Indonesia, China, the Philippines, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Each year over 240,000 deaths occur from TB and close to 600,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease in our country.
“Global efforts to combat TB have saved 66 million lives globally since the year 2000 and many of those are Nigerians! This is a compelling reason why Nigeria should be in the forefront of global efforts to eradicate the disease,” NTS said.
The society said the theme of World TB Day 2023, “Yes! We can end TB” is designed to motivate stake-holders at
all levels to show high level leadership, increase investments, embrace new WHO recommendations, adopt innovations and engage in multi-sectorial collaboration in order to combat the TB scourge.
The NTS added that this year’s event would focus on encouraging countries, including Nigeria, to scale up efforts in their TB control programmes as a prelude to the 2023 United Nations High-level meeting which promises to provide opportunities for securing political commitment from world leaders.
“There is no doubt that many nations are battling with several competing demands on their lean and diminishing
resources particularly in the low and middle income countries which unfortunately bear the greater burden of disease.
“The theme for this year is intended to inspire hope and encourage more action. The Nigerian Thoracic Society appreciates the efforts being made by government and various donor agencies towards the control and eventual eradication of this scourge but we appeal to our government to do even more so that Nigeria can at least be delisted from the group of high burden states,” the body said.
According to NTS, The 2023 edition of the world TB day would be observed in spite of the economic realities in the
country today, saying that the message remained a message of hope “Yes! We can end TB”!
“We want to thank the Nigerian government through the National TB program, local organizations as well as international agencies that have been working tirelessly to create awareness, identify and treat this most deadly and yet very treatable condition,” the society said.
credit: PM News