World Tuberculosis Day: Nigerian Thoracic Society appeals to govt to do more in tackling Tuberculosis
delists Nigeria from high burden states
As the world marks the 2023 World Tuberculosis Day today, March 24, the Nigerian Thoracic Society has appealed to the government to do more in tackling Tuberculosis in order for the country to be delisted from the group of high-burden states.
In a statement, to mark the 2023 World Tuberculosis Day celebrated every March 24, the President of the Nigerian Thoracic Society, Prof Udegbunam Ele, stated that in spite of the economic realities in the country, the message remains a message of hope of “Yes! We can end TB”!.
He further said: “We want to thank the Nigerian government through the National TB program, local organizations as well as international agencies that have been working tirelessly to create awareness, identify and treat this most deadly and yet very treatable condition.”
Ele appreciated the efforts being made by the government and various donor agencies towards the control and eventual eradication of the scourge.
“Every year, the Nigerian Thoracic Society joins other local as well as international organizations to commemorate World Tuberculosis (TB) Day on March 24. This date marks the day in the year 1882 when Dr Robert Koch, German physician and microbiologist, announced that he had discovered the organism that causes TB.
“This discovery opened the way for the diagnosis and treatment of the disease. This day is set aside to raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of TB, and to step up efforts to end the global TB epidemic.
“TB remains the world’s deadliest infectious killer after COVID-19. Globally about 1.6 million deaths occurred from TB alone as at end of 2021. Eight countries contributed more than two-thirds of the global mortality, namely, India, Indonesia, China, the Philippines, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“Each year over 240,000 deaths occur from TB and close to 600,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease in our country. Global efforts to combat TB have saved 66 million lives globally since the year 2000 and many of those are Nigerians! This is a compelling reason why Nigeria should be in the forefront of global efforts to eradicate the disease.
“The theme of World TB Day 2023, “Yes! We can end TB” is designed to motivate stakeholders at all levels to show high-level leadership, increase investments, embrace new WHO recommendations, adopt innovations and engage in multi-sectorial collaboration in order to combat the TB scourge.
“This year’s event will focus on encouraging countries, including Nigeria, to scale up efforts in their TB control programmes as a prelude to the 2023 United Nations High-level meeting which promises to provide opportunities for securing a political commitment from world leaders. There is no doubt that many nations are battling with several competing demands on their lean and diminishing resources, particularly in the low and middle-income countries which unfortunately bear the greater burden of disease. The theme for this year is intended to inspire hope and encourage more action.”