March 18, 2023.
The National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme (NTBLCP) of the Federal Ministry of Health has warned Nigerians that tuberculosis is an infectious disease and it is not caused by witchcraft.
The National Coordinator of NTBLCP, Dr Chukwuma Anyaike disclosed this at the 2023 Pre-World TB Day Press Conference organised by Stop TB Partnership Nigeria, in collaboration with the NTBLCP.
The 2023 WTBD Theme is “Yes! We can end TB with the slogan in Nigeria “Get involved”.
Anyaike explained that Tuberculosis is not caused by any witchcraft but an infectious disease caused by a bacterium called mycobacterium tuberculosis and can not be contracted by shaking hands, and by hugging.
“The bacterium is suspended in the air and you can breath it in. Whatever happens afterwards, depends on your body immune system”.
Anyaike further maintained that Nigeria needs to create more awareness as he said the country is number one in Africa and still the sixth globally.
“We need to make much awareness creation and I’m challenging our colleagues from the media angle to help us, you have done so well, at least before it was 25% of Nigerians not knowing much about tuberculosis and the burden in Nigeria but we still have a lot of problems.
“As the number one principle of primary prevention, awareness creation comes in, we need to make much noise and it shouldn’t be just on an annual basis. We should try as much as possible to let people know, people hear of TB, I want us to expand it to tuberculosis”. He said.
Anyaike however said in the midst of the struggles, Nigeria has repeatedly done well. “If you look at where we started by the end of 2022, we were able to notify above 285,000 missing cases in Nigeria and that is 60% of the missing cases is a huge milestone, but we have not gotten there, so we were able to do that by the sheer cooperation and commitment, with passion of every person.
“I remember by this time last year we were also here. So by that time last year, it was not 60 So we should also celebrate ourselves haven’t gone this far,” he added.(www.naija247news.com).