The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Kayode Oladehinde while speaking at the symposium organised in commemoration of the 2023 World Tuberculosis Day in Abeokuta announced that free Tuberculosis( TB) tests are being carried out in all government health facilities in Ogun State on a daily basis for anyone who has been coughing for two weeks without any positive outcome.
Oladehinde who described Tuberculosis as an airborne disease which is curable, said it remained one of the main causes of illness and death among the black race, pointing out that 47 Nigerians develop active TB every hour.
Lamenting that an untreated TB case can infect 10 to 20 new persons in one year, he called for a concerted effort on the part of all residents to encourage suspected person to present himself for free screening.
Speaking on the 2023 theme, ” Yes, we can end TB. Be Involved,” which Oladehinde said presented the urgent need to invest resources to ramp up the fight against the disease and achieve the commitment to end the epidemic by increasing access to prevention and treatment as well as reduce stigma and discrimination.
The Permanent Secretary who said that Ogun State Government has extended TB services from 216 sites in 2018 to over 618 facilities in 2022 across the 20 local government areas.
Oladehinde added that the free diagnosis patients is provided through the network of 16 Gene Xpert machines sites and seventy microscopy sites which spread across the state.
” I want to plead with us to suspect Tuberculosis in anyone who has cough of two weeks duration or more. All such persons should be encouraged to visit the health facilities for free test.
” All persons living with or in close contact with a TB patient must be screened. We are all stakeholders in ending the menace of TB. We should not fold our hands to let it fester. Let us join in the crusade by increasing awareness in our various domains until our world is free of this disease,” he pointed.
In his remarks, a former World Health Organisation Consultant, Dr. Gani Alabi, advised health workers to adopt a patient-centered approach, just as he mentioned the need to make nutrition an important part of the package for a TB patient who may be in need of support.
The commemoration activities which was preceded with street walk around Oke-Ilewo axis of Abeokuta, also included simultaneous community testing across the state.