By Isaac Afolabi
Statistics by the World Health Organisation, W.H.O indicate that at least, eighteen Nigerians die from Tuberculosis every hour.
To ensure a drastic end to this ugly trend, Stakeholders have stressed the urgent need for them to always visit health facilities whenever they experience symptoms such as dry cough, sudden loss of weight, fever and persistent sweating especially in the night.
The stakeholders comprising medical experts, Advocacy group and journalists converged on Akure for a one day sensitisation workshop on tuberculosis and to raise awareness on the debilitating effects of the disease especially if left untreated.
Speaking at the virtual meeting, A health expert from the Advocacy, Communication and Social Development , ACSM, Federal Ministry of Health, Mrs Jumoke Adebari said as a vital change agent in the society, the media had a major role to play in educating the public on the dangers, prevention and treatment of tuberculosis.
Mrs Adebari said although COVID-19 had diverted people’s attention from TB due to the similarities in the symptoms of both diseases, people still needed to take caution by visiting health facility anytime they have the symptoms and not attribute the health challenge to witchcraft but get tested early and be treated.
While saying tuberculosis was curable and that treatment for it was free and available in all public health facilities across the Country, Mrs Adebari hinted that efforts were ongoing to further sensitize Nigerians through radio and television jingles in local languages
On his part, the Coordinator, Ondo State Tuberculosis, Buruli Ulcer & Leprosy Control Programme (OD-STBLCP) Ministry of Health, Dr. Oluwafemi Aina said government would soon embark on regular interactions with community heads and religious leaders on the dangers of the disease.
Dr Aina cautioned that people living with tuberculosis should not be stigmatised, rather, they should be shown love and assisted to get treatment which he noted was available in all government hospitals across the eighteen local council areas of the state.
The virtual sensitisation workshop was held simultaneously in Ondo and Ekiti states.