Saturday, 24 March 2018

World Tuberculosis Day: C'river state govt earmark N300M to fight TB in 2018

| 24 March 2018 | correspondent 

Cross River State Health gladiators yesterday 23rd March, 2018 staged a walk to create awareness and sensitize people about Tuberculosis (TB), it effect and where to get treatment free of charge in the State.

The walk which began from Dr Lawrence Henshaw Hospital were the best TB Reference Laboratory in the country is located with the theme; WANTED LEADERS FOR A TB -FREE NIGERIA proceeded to Charmley Street, Watt Market and finally to the State Ministry of Health

Speaking, the commissioner for health, Dr Inyang Asibong who was represented by Director of Public Health, Dr Iwara Iwara said the Government of Cross River State is committed to ending TB and His Excellency, Senator (Prof) Ben Ayade the digital Pro health Governor has made it possible by putting a whooping sum of 300 Million Naira in the 2018 budget to fight Tuberculosis. He said it is the desire of the State to put an end to TB by releasing funds to tackle Tuberculosis cases.

Also Speaking, Director General of Cross River State Primary Healthcare Agency, Dr Betta Edu said Cross River State Government   is marking World TB day creating advocacy for TB as a lot of people don't know what TB is.

" You see adult and young people coughing for more than two weeks and they just keep going to the pharmacy or chemist man to get drugs instead of going to hospital or designated TB facilities to get tested. You also see people who are loosing weight and sometimes they are mistaken for HIV patient's or spiritual cases meanwhile they are suffering from TB says the DG.

She noted that Cross River State Government have provided free of charge diagnosing and treatment through the Cross River State TB program with a Reference Laboratory one of the best in Nigeria. She said anyone coughing or having night sweat can go to the lab and get tested.

Dr Edu reminded them that they can also access care in General Hospital, Teaching Hospital and Primary Healthcare centers.She ended by saying Cross River State need leaders who will go into communities and champion the course as the theme for 2018 World TB day implies.

Earlier Speaking, Cross River State Tuberculosis Program Control Officer, Dr Jonah Bassey Offor said this is a day used in creating awareness and educating people about the devastating effect of Tuberculosis to the population. He noted that every year 1.7 million people died of Tuberculosis all over the World as one third of the world population get affected with TB, and 90% are from the sub Saharan region of Africa and about 1500 cases are in the Nigerian communities.

Dr Offor said presently Nigeria is occupying number one as the country with the highest level of infection and seconded by South Africa. He call on Government, public organizations and wealthy individuals to support the fight against the scourge of Tuberculosis.

State Coordinator of Health Finance and Governance a USAID funded program, Dr Ibiam Azu who spoke on behalf of the development partners on TB said the walk is to sensitize people against Tuberculosis and is going on simultaneously in every LGAs across the State with the sole aim to identify TB cases and refer them to treatment. He said the awareness will make people to know about TB services which is free in the State. Finally he charged the State Government to double their effort in supporting TB program as a lot need to be done to fight the disease.

He gave out free toll TB phone number 08002255282 to the public for any case of Tuberculosis to be reported.

Present at the walk were representatives of FHI360, KNVC a USAID funded TB project, Dr Onweteaka Cynthia, Dr Janet Ekpenyong from HFG USAID, Representatives of State Ministry of information and State TB program officers Ministry of Health amongst others.