By Prudence Ijah
The National Tuberculosis and Leprocy Control Programme (NTBLCP) had reiterated the need for those at the grassroots to be properly informed on the reality of tuberculosis as awareness is key.
Speaking at a medical outreach to create awareness about tuberculosis on Wednesday in Lugbe Community of the Federal Capital Territory(FCT), the Chairman 2021 TB Day committee, Dr. Ayodele Awe, said that the outreach is necessary to educate the people at the grassroots about what they need to know about tuberculosis.
The outreach featured, talks, medical tests, awareness on how to identify TB.
According to Dr Awe, Lugbe was chosen considering the pupulation and it’s proximity to the Federal Capital Territory.
The Head, Advocacy and Communication and Social Mobilization, NTBLCP, Itoghowo Uko, said that the awareness outreach is something to be thrilled about.
“Knowledge they say is power, when you give an individual the right information, he or she would be able to take decision on his or her life from an informed position. We have been able to sensitize them on the simple signs of Tuberculosis and the reason they need to get tested. We know that COVID-19 has devastated the health system and has been discouraging people from going to the hospital. But, with what we have done today, and the responses we have gotten, we believe that they will do the right thing whenever they have a cough or know someone that has a cough that has lasted two weeks or more,” Uko said.
She however added that the more aware Nigerians are about tuberculosis, the sooner the burden will reduce.
While sharing his experience with tuberculosis, a TB survivor, Francis Ekong, encouraged all Nigerians to go for test if they are coughing continuously.
“The test is free, the treatment is free, the food is free. Everything about tuberculosis treatment and management is free. All you need to do is to submit yourself,” Ekong said.
He also said that the issue of discrimination and stigmatization of TB patients is real but after the treatment, one is reabsorbed into the society.
The chief of Lugbe, Usman Nga Kupi, said that he will continue to enlighten his people on the need to stay healthy.
The theme of the 2021 World Tuberculosis Day is ‘The Clock is Ticking’ with the slogan ‘That cough fit be Tuberculosis not COVID, check am o”!!!!
This outreach is part of the week long activities to mark this year’s world TB day.