The Wife of the President, Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, has said that despite the efforts so far made in the area of Tuberculosis (TB), more is needed to end the scourge in Nigeria.
She, however, reiterated that Nigeria was committed with the support of partners to end the disease very soon.
She stated this at a meeting with Joint United Nations Mission to Nigeria on TB, at the Presidential Villa.
According to her: “We have been doing so much, but we can do better, our ultimate goal is to end TB in Nigeria.”
The wife of the president recalled that: “Towards the end of last year, I conducted an investiture for the wives of governors in Nigeria, appointing them as TB Champions. Because TB programmes and services in Nigeria are decenrtralised to states and local governments levels.
“The appointment of the wives of governors as TB champions is a game changer as it will help to cascade information and support for TB to the lowest level, especially, the much needed support of the state governors.
“In Nigeria, because TB awareness is still a major challenge, I have been using both the traditional and social media to create more awareness on TB.
“I have participated in major programmes organized by Stop TB Partnership Nigeria, especially, the National TB Conferences held in 2016 and 2019.
“During the world TB day last year, I hosted the TB community and stakeholders to Gala night to celebrate TB champions and survivors.
“This was the first time in Nigeria to appreciate organisations and individuals who have dedicated their lives to end TB in Nigeria. “Also, during the World TB day last year, I personally visited a rural community here in Abuja to create more awareness about TB and to support and intensify TB case finding.”
While soliciting for the support of the United Nations delegation to end the TB scourge in Nigeria, she said: “I also want to solicit for more of your support. As you know ending TB in a country as big as Nigeria is a huge task and we need multisectoral and multi lateral support for us to achieve it
“So, I look forward to your recommendations and I promise to advocate for the implementation of any action that is agreed upon. “
The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, noted that the meeting was an important step in prioritizing non communicable diseases for urgent action.
“The delegation is here from different agencies of the United Nations to draw attention to the diseases and to stimulate us and get us thinking on what to do.
“Some of these diseases are genetic and cant be helped like sickle cell while some are self inflicted like alcohol and Tobacco excesses which create problems not only for the consumer but also for the environment. But never the less, they all constitute a burden to the health system.
“It is wise for us to handle them at the early stage and wiser too, to prevent them”, he said.