Wife of Benue Governor, Mrs Eunice Ortom, has appealed to people to always go for Tuberculosis (TB) test anytime they experienced regular coughing for upwards of two weeks.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), World Tuberculosis (TB) Day is commemorated every March 24.
“It is 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.
“The date marks the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the bacterium that causes TB, which opened the way toward diagnosing and curing this disease.’’
Ortom regretted that many people who had the disease in the state were not going for regular checks, thereby spreading it in their communities.
“A lot of cases of TB in Benue are undetected because the victims do not go for testing.
“Testing, diagnosis and treatment of TB is free. TB is preventable and curable too. So, do not die in silence.
“Some are afraid because of stigmatisation, but I encourage you to get rid of stigmatisation and go for testing,” she advised.
Also, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Joseph Ngbea, said that Benue had the highest number of TB cases in the North Central.
Ngbea, represented by Dr Terna Kur, Director, Public Health, said that the numbers of drug resistance cases in the state were increasing by the day.
He said that all hands should be on the deck to nip the disease in the bud.
Commenting, Dr Ishember Igbabul, Programme Manager, State TB and Leprosy Control Programme, quoting the WHO, said that 10 million people were infected by the disease globally.
Igbabul said that out of the number between 1.2 million and 1.3 million of them die.
He described the disease as a common enemy of man which has become a human threat owing to its airborne spread.
“It is the desire of partners that in 2035 the disease should be eradicated,” he said.
In their separate goodwill messages, Dr Dominic Usman of Breakthrough Action and Dr Israel Popoola of WHO, said that they were committed to the eradication of the disease in the country.
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