By: Sunny David/Onitsha
Nigeria ranks first in Africa and sixtieth in the world in tuberculosis disease burden.
The Director of Public Health, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. (Mrs.) Evelyn Ngige made this known during the 2018 Annual Review Meeting of National Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Buruli Ulcer Control Programme, Organized by the Department of Public Health, Federal Ministry of Health in conjunction with the Anambra State Government in Awka.
Addressing the participants who came from the thirty six states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Dr. Ngige represented by the National Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Buruli Ulcer Control programme, Dr. Adebola Lawanson, said that it affords them the opportunity to reflect on their performances in the previous year.
Dr. Ngige who said that despite the giant gains made over the years in the fight against the three diseases, the position of the country in Africa and the world at large is totally unacceptable and every hand must be on deck to eliminate the disease, even as she said that there are seven thousand, three hundred and eighty nine tuberculosis drug centres across the country.
Governor Willie Obiano represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Professor Solo Chukwulobelu while declaring the event open pointed out that tuberculosis remains one of the most deadly infectious diseases in the world and urged the participants to formulate a programmatic work-plan that will help to eliminate the diseases in Nigeria.
Governor Obiano also revealed that treatment of tuberculosis is included among the benefits of the State Health Insurance Scheme and assured that his government will continue to support the state Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Buruli Ulcer Control programme.
The Anambra State Coordinator, National Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Buruli Ulcer Control programme, Dr. Okoli-Ifeanyichukwu Chukwuebuka said that identification of people with the diseases is paramount to the Programme as well as awareness creation and sensitization.