As part of activities mapped out for commemorating the 2019 World Tuberculosis (TB) Day in Lagos State, the Ministry of Health in collaboration with Tuberculosis Control Implementing Partners is organizing awareness and sensitization walk as well as a medical outreach to end the deadly disease in the State.
According to the State TB, Leprosy and Buruli Ulcer Programme Manager, Dr. Daniel Sokoya, the awareness and sensitization walk which would be flagged off by the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. Titilayo Goncalves is scheduled to take off at the Igando-Ikotun local government secretariat at 9.00am on Monday, March 25, 2019.
“There will also be a medical outreach and screening programme immediately after the awareness walk at Palace way, Ikotun where officials of the Ministry and TB implementing partners will screen residents and enlighten them on precautionary measures to adopt to prevent contracting the disease,” he added.
Shokoya explained that the theme, “It’s Time” focused on building commitment to end TB, not only at the political level with Heads of State and Ministers of Health, but at all levels from governors, parliamentarians and community leaders, to people affected with TB, civil society advocates, private corporate organizations, health workers, doctors, nurses, NGOs and individuals.
“The theme is reminding us to act now!, we must achieve the end TB targets of reducing TB deaths by 95%, cutting down new cases by 90% between 2015 and 2035, and ensure that no family is burdened with catastrophic expenses due to TB”, he stated.
While noting that everyone must be aware of the threat TB posed to their health, the State TB programme Coordinator opined that instead of stigmatizing those affected by the disease, they should be supported to get diagnosed and treated.
“If we fail to do this, one untreated person can infect about 10 to 15 others in a year. However, early diagnosis and treatment reduces the spread of infection, therefore it is our collective responsibility to find and treat all Patients”, he said.
He urged residents of the State to look out for friends, neighbours and family members, stressing that taking quick action might save a live.
“It is time we invested more resources towards controlling TB in Lagos State! It is time to put people first in the TB response! It is time we worked together as a team! It is time we achieved Universal access to quality TB prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care! It is time to end TB!”