Tuberculosis: WHO raises alarm as infection increases in Borno

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World Health Organisation (WHO) on Monday raised an alarm over what it termed “increasing rate of Tuberculosis (TB) infection in Borno.” The organisation’s Head of Mission/Country Representative, Dr Walter Mulombo, expressed the organisation’s concern during the North-East Nigeria 13th WHO End-Term Joint Operations Review (JOR) in Yola.

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Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by a type of bacteria and often affects the lung.

According to reports, JOR is for Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) states, affected by Boko Haram insurgency.

The country representative, however, assured WHO’s readiness to work with Borno Government to address the problem.

He said “the rate of tuberculosis infection in Borno is worrisome. It means that Borno could be a ticking bomb for tuberculosis explosion in Nigeria. We don’t want to allow that because of humanitarian crisis; we need to work together because that thing itself is strictly an emergency.’’

Mulombo, therefore, urged stakeholders to take actions to accelerate help, and to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goal of leaving no one behind.

Earlier, Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno had said that the state lost about 50 per cent of its health institutions and many staff were abducted or killed due to the insurgency.

Represented by the Borno Commissioner for Health, Dr Baba Malam-Gana, Zulum said one of the consequences of this is the issue of tuberculosis, which needs a lot of staff to work on it, including machines.

According to him, the state currently use the help of military to reach hard to reach areas to deliver services such as immunisation.

He urged the world body to help in that regard, as well as in tackling Gender-Based Violence issues, among other areas.

Gov. Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa, represented by the Commissioner for Health, Dr Felix Tangwame, thanked the organisation for its contributions to the state in many ways.

He said WHO had provided various services such as capacity building, surveillance in preventing outbreak of diseases in the state, among others.

He called for more assistance, especially in the area of training for health workers to be updated on new diseases and to know how to handle them