As part of activities mapped out to commemorate the 2019 World Tuberculosis 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 stop the deadly disease in the State.
According to Dr. Daniel Sokoya, the State TB, Leprosy and Buruli Ulcer Programme Manager, the walk will be flagged off by the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. Titilayo Goncalves at the Igando-Ikotun Local Government Secretariat by 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.
Sokoya explained that the theme – “It’s Time” – focuses 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, corporate organisations, health workers, doctors, nurses, NGOs and individuals.
“The theme is reminding us to act now! We must achieve the TB targets of reducing TB deaths by 95%, cutting down new cases by 90% between 2015 and 2035, and ensuring that no family is burdened with catastrophic expenses due to TB”, he stated.
While noting that everyone must be aware of the threat TB poses to their health, Dr. Sokoya opined that instead of stigmatising those affected by the disease, they should get support for diagnosis and treatment.
“If we fail to do this, one untreated person can infect about 10 to 15 others in a year. However, early diagnosis and treatment reduce the spread of infection, therefore it is our collective responsibility to find and treat all patients”, he said.
The State TB Programme Coordinator also emphasised that “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 in Lagos State”.