ABUJA – (Wife of the President’s Office Report) – The Wife of Nigeria’s President, Aisha Muhammadu Buhari (Dr), who is a Global TB Ambassador has called on Nigerians to test themselves for Tuberculosis (TB) which is one of the world’s most deadly diseases.
She made the remark in an outreach programme which held in Kpebi Village of Kuruduma in the outskirts of Abuja on Wednesday March 20, 2019. The event was organised by the Office of the Wife of the President in collaboration with the National TB and Leprosy Control Programme.
While noting that the clearest danger signal of tuberculosis is two weeks of uninterrupted cough, she confirmed that the disease is treatable and curable. She also inferred that with proper diagnosis and treatment, patients can overcome the disease and live normal lives.
“We should not be caught unawares. Once you notice a cough that has refused to go after two weeks, visit a health facility and consult a
doctor,” she said.
Aisha Buhari informed that the treatment for TB is free and called on citizens to take advantage of the ongoing screening in health facilities across the country, so that if found to be positive, they can be quickly diagnosed and placed on treatment.
The Minister of State for Health, Osagie Ehanire (Prof) while speaking at the event disclosed that TB is spread through coughing and sneezing in overcrowded and poorly ventilated spaces. He described the disease as a leading cause of death in the world, indicating that about 1.6 million people were reported to have died of TB in 2017 alone.
Ehanire warned that silence by victims has been a major problem in fighting the disease, stating that about 300,000 cases were undetected in 2017. He explained that these undetected cases are untreated people, who can spread the disease in communities. He further mentioned that one person with untreated lung tuberculosis can infect 10 – 15 other persons per year.
The Health Deputy Minister thanked the Wife of the President for participating in the outreach as a TB Ambassador.
Speaking earlier, The National Coordinator of the TB and Leprosy Programme, Lawanson Adebola (Dr) stressed that the outreach was organized as part of activities to mark the World TB Day which is scheduled to take place on Sunday, 24th of March 2019.
The outreach, she said provided screening and treatment opportunities for those who were found to be positive. She also called on the villagers to take advantage of the opportunity as well as encourage others to visit the hospitals to be screened. He revealed to them that the tests are conducted on a mobile lab tagged: “wellness on wheels.”
In a related development, the District Head of Kpebi, High Chief Audu Kaura welcomed guests to the village, while a TB Survivor – Abubakar Bala spoke on his experiences when living with the disease. There was also a flag-off of the event by the Wife of the President.
The event was attended by the Wife of the Vice President, Dolapo Osinbajo, the Wife of the Governor of Nasarawa State, Mairo Almakura (Dr) and other dignitaries.