Saturday, 24 March 2018

World TB Day 2018: CRSG Changing The Rhetorics

| 25 March 2018 | Correspondent 

On the 24th of March in 1882 a certain Dr. Robert Koch announced the discovery of the bacterium that causes Tuberculosis, and this paved the way for the diagnosing and ultimate curing of the disease. Following this, in 1982 WHO declared same date every year as a day to raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of tuberculosis (TB) and to step up efforts to end the global TB epidemic; hence the World Tuberculosis Day!

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) despite significant progress over the last decades, TB continues to be the top infectious killer worldwide, claiming over 4,500 lives daily. The emergence of Multidrug-Resistant TB (MDR-TB) poses a major health security threat and could risk gains made in the fight against TB.

The theme of this year's World TB Day celebration - "Wanted: Leaders for a TB-free world"- is a call to action for everyone to join the movement for a TB free world. It focuses on building commitment to end TB with every individual at all levels being a stakeholder irrespective of profession, status quo and whether affected or not, can all be leaders of efforts to end TB in their own work or terrain.

Nigeria currently ranks 4th in the world and 1st in Africa among the 30 countries with the highest burden of TB, TB/HIV, multi drug resistant TB.

In Cross River State, the fight against TB has seen the State setup Directly Observed Treatment Shortcourse (DOTS) TB centers across all the General Hospitals and most PHC facilities in the 196 wards of the State, bringing the treatment closer to the rural populace who are most vulnerable at absolutely no cost. The results have been tremendous as more people are now very aware of the disease and how dangerous it is, and this has led to an increased number of people receiving treatment and thus reducing the spread in the State.

The State also organized a sensitization and awareness campaign across the busy Calabar metropolis to enlighten the citizenry and also encourage them to come out, get tested and receive treatments at absolutely no cost.

"Tb is the world's most infectious disease with about 4,500 recorded deaths globally, and today's celebration provides the opportunity to shine the spotlight on the disease and mobilize political and social commitment for accelerated progress to end the disease.

Unfortunately, Nigeria is far worse hit by this global epidemic in Africa, and it is on this premise that the Cross River State Government led by Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade is working assiduously to end the disease in the State.

We have DOTS TB centers in all the General Hospitals and most PHC facilities across the State set up to keep track with cases, provide free care, free drugs and free routine management, and so far, the results have been fantastic.' -Dr. Inyang Asibong; Commissioner for Health.

The Director General of the State Primary Health Care Development Agency; Dr. Betta Edu, the Director of Public Health in the State; Dr. Iwara Iwara, and the State Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Coordinator, Dr. Joseph Offor, were on hand to sensitize the public during the walk.