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AHF decries lack of manpower to tackle 300,000 tuberculosis cases


Patient with Tuberculosis

About 300, 000 cases of tuberculosis are yet to be discovered by caregivers, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) has said. AHF said the 300,000 people are not on treatment because they are not aware they are suffering from the disease. AHF Country Programme Director, Dr. Echey Ijezie disclosed this during a community sensitisation programme and partnership building which brought both government and notable civil society actors to converge in Keffi, Nasarawa State, in commemoration of the World TB day, and to review and adopt a roadmap of action for Keffi local government area of the state.

The choice of Keffi, Nasarawa state, according to Ijezie explained that the choice of Keffi was informed by the urgent need to respond to the reality of high TB incidence in Nasarawa state, by leveraging on AHF’s public engagement speciality to create awareness, educate the people, and most importantly get them to test for both TB and HIV/AIDS. Ijezie called on countries and global public health institutions to ensure everyone affected by TB can access treatment and that resources are made available to fight the epidemic.

He said: “This call, is particularly crucial for Nigeria, because of the country’s TB status: 407,000 people in Nigeria have TB each year, while the country is ranked 7th among the 30 high TB burden countries and second in Africa with 154,000 people dying each year from TB.”According to WHO, 30,000 children get TB in Nigeria each year. Whereas 47,000 children are eligible to receive preventative treatment, while, only about 8,500 children actually receive this preventative treatment, while an estimated 115,000 HIV negative people die from TB in Nigeria each year, with 39,000 HIV positive people also lost to TB.”

The Director is of the opinion that it is not difficult to comprehend what it means for so many people to be dying each year from tuberculosis.
In his remarks, the Director Primary Healthcare, Keffi Local Government Area (LGA), Gambo Ibrahim, who expressed gratitude to AHF for coming to Keffi, said the local government will offer the necessary assistance to ensure TB is stamped out totally.

Mrs Asabe Illiya, the Deputy Director, Primary Health Care, Keffi LGA said AHF intervention is a welcome development, particularly because of its focus on educating women and highlighting the risks of TB to children.

The Executive Director, Community Health Programme for Women and Youth in Nigeria (CHPWYN), Mrs Mary Ashie said her organisation is ready to work with AHF to achieve a TB-free Nasarawa State.

Other state officials present at the occasion included Mr Kumur Dogos, of the Nasarawa State TB Control Programme, Keffi Local Government TB Coordinator, Mr Dogara Danjuma and Keffi Local Government Mobilization Officer, Mustapha Abubakar.

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