Residents of Mabushi, a community within the Federal Capital Territory – FCT, have applauded the National Tuberculosis, Buruli Ulcer and Leprosy Control Programme, NTBLCP for bringing free TB testing and treatment campaign to their door step.
The Campaign is part of activities to commemorate the 2022 World Tuberculosis Day.
The residents registered their excitement while speaking to the newsmen at the sidelines of the campaign which took place in the compound of the Esu Mabushi, Aminu Akuyi.
Prosper Elisha and Godwin Haruna, both residents of Mabushi explained that the visit has availed the community members of the opportunity to know their TB status, learn about the disease and become advocates of the campaign to end TB in Nigeria.
“Actually, it is a nice thing and it is very good especially in the aspect of health, which is wealth as they say. So we are very grateful for our people to know the status of their health. And now I have known that when I see somebody coughing I can advise the person that the best thing is to go to the hospital to get tested before taking any medication,” Prosper said.
On his part, Haruna said “When I see a person that is coughing, I will inform him that the community health centre provides free test for TB and I will also give them the phone number to call them for advice and what steps to take.”
Meanwhile, the National Coordinator, NTBLCP, Dr. Chukwuma Anyaike, represented by the Deputy Director, Advocacy, Communication and Social Mobilisation, Itoghowo Uko expressed displeasure over the poor turnout of residents for the exercise.
Anyaike, however, informed the community that the free testing and treatment will continue in the Primary Health Centre in Mabushi and surrounding communities, even after NTBLCP campaign train have left.
“I am not very happy because I was expecting a larger turn out of people. In one hour’s time, will be through but you can still send for them, because it will not be beneficial to us bring the hospital equipment, the doctors the nurses, and the lab scientists and all these people you are seeing to your community and the people that are supposed to receive what we have come to give are not around.
“Information is very powerful, they say knowledge is power. Let them come and be educated, let them come and be empowered, so that they will be able to make informed decisions concerning their health.
“I am very happy that the women leader is here because it is the woman who cares for the family. Both the children and the father of the house. So when the woman is present she can be armed with the required knowledge to take better care of the health of her family. She will know that when a family member is coughing for two weeks or more, she needs to take the person for testing. And if it is TB, she ensures that the person adheres to the treatment regimen through the six months period or more until such a person is completely healed.”
Representing Esu Mabushi, James Kusase stated that the leadership of the community will sustain the sensitization of residents about TB and ensure that those who could not be tested during the campaign, visit the health centre for their tests.
“We told the people but you know how Nigeria is today, people are tired of the hunger. If you had said you are sharing free food or money, they will all come out in their numbers.
“But we promise that after the outreach is over, we will gather the leaders of the various communities and tell them that the TB campaign came around and there is the need for people to go to the health centre and get tested and placed on treatment if necessary. And that TB, unlike COVID-19 has a known treatment that can be given to anyone who has the disease.”
Meanwhile, the Deputy Project Director, TB – Breakthrough Action Nigeria, BAN, Dr. Bolatito Aiyenigba advised members of Mabushi community against stigmatizing individuals who have contracted TB or cured of the disease, but be their source of support and encouragement.