WORLD Health Organisation (WHO) has identified poor community awareness creation, stigmatisation and poor funding as some of the factors militating against its TB service implementation in Nigeria and other parts of the world.
The Anambra State TB Surveillance Officer of the World Health Organisation, Chukwuebuka Ugwu, disclosed this at a one-day sensitisation programme on ‘Overview of TB Cases’, organised by WHO, in collaboration with the National Orientation Agency (NOA),Anambra State Directorate and Anambra State Ministry of Health, Awka, and over Ssven other Health institutions in the state, held at the Corporate Headquarters of the NOA, in Awka.
According to him, some of the health institutions that collaborated in the program were Institute of Human Virology of Nigeria, Save the World Support Organisation, Initiative for the Prevention of Communicable Disease, among others
Dr. Ugwu, who led the members of the TB Campaign Team in Anambra State Ministry of Health to the program, maintained that the essence of the TB Overview Program was to enable the Community Orientation and Mobilization Officers of NOA to understand in a clear terms all about the cases and treatment of TB in the society.
He noted that the overview exercise does not limit itself to Anambra State alone, but also extends its tentacles to that of Nigeria at large.
Dr. Ugwu, who stated that TB is the top infectious killer in the world, listed its symptoms to include, droplet nuclei, cough, sneeze, weight loss, night sweat, fever and cough with blood, among others.
He said that the Government of Anambra State had before then, procured nine TB diagnosis machines for the state, which he said were not enough for the state and identified malnutrition, diabetes, smoking ,alcohol and HIV as of the dangerous risk factors for the TB disease in the society.
He emphasised that in 2015,during the Ebola outbreak that fifteen million cases of the disease were recorded with two. Four million deaths, saying that the seventy percent of money needed for the service implementation for the dreaded monster was not available.
Dr. Ugwu, who spoke further, maintained that TB is an air borne disease that nearly wiped out the whole Europe, stressing that it could not be genetically transferred, but could only be contracted in an overcrowded environment with poor ventilation.
He assured that a pregnant mother cannot transfer the disease to her unborn child and reminds the people that the TB case could be tested and treated free of charge at the government health facilities located at more than 400 public and private hospitals in the state.
He opined that the treatment of TB last for only six months, calling for anybody that has coughed for more than two weeks to go for TB check up and treatment as the disease affects human lungs and other parts of the body.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the State Director, National Orientation Agency, Anambra State Headquarters, Awka, Barrister Charles Nwoji, described the event as very apt ,especially now the people are grappling with various health challenges in the society, adding that the program could assist the field officers of NOA in their sensitisation campaign against the disease in the State.
In their separate speeches, Dr. Chike Ezeanya of the Initiative of Human Virology of Nigeria, and his Save the World Support Organisation counterpart, Dr. John Ibekwe, challenged both the Government and the Private Sector to expedite action in the fight against TB, Leprosy and other killer diseases in the society, pointing out that the Global Fund has made it very easy for the people to access the TB services in the Public and Government Heal ht institutions around them.