As part of activities to mark the World Tuberculosis Day in Nigeria, the National Tuberculosis, Buruli Ulcer and Leprosy Control Programme, NTBLPC, has embarked on an advocacy visit to the Dakchi Mabushi, Aminu Akuyi, ahead of its planned free TB Testing and counseling outreach slated for March 21, 2022.
Speaking during the sensitization meeting which held at the palace of the Chief of Mabushi, Aminu Akuyi, Chairman of the outreach, Dr. John Osho explained that to the village head and his members of council that team seeks to arm them with the information about TB and also seek to support advocate to the members of Mabushi Community to turn for the forthcoming outreach.
“As we speak, about 150, 000 people die of TB in Nigeria annually, that means that there is something wrong. Most people still don’t know about TB.
The Social Stigma attached to TB is there and this is why we need to continue to enlighten the populace. We plan to come back here on the 21st of March, where we would talk to the people. We want you to tell people to come, especially those who are coughing because that day, we are going to come with machines to do tests and it’s free of charge.”
Chief Nursing Officer, Stella Ekeh of the NTBLCP, who had an interactive session with the community council, informed them of the signs and symptoms of TB, how it spreads and how it could be prevented.
Nurse Ekeh also told the members of Mabushi community council that the community was selected because recent data trend in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, showed that Mabushi has a high rate of TB infections.
“Our objective of coming is to sensitise the chief and cabinet members about Tuberculosis because in the data of FCT, we found out that Mabushi community has high yield of Tuberculosis.
“We said seeing these type of people in a data trend, a lot of people in Mabushi automatically will be infected with this disease and out of denial and discrimination, they might not actually come out. We briefly informed them in their language what the disease is all about.
“We told them about the test and treatment of the disease, the cause and prevention of the disease too. We emphasized on the issue of overcrowding especially during this heat period.”
Responding to the message of the NTBLCP team, Chief of Mabushi, Aminu Akuyi, applauded the initiative and pledged to ensure that his subjects and surrounding communities get informed of the March 24 free TB medical outreach, and assured of a massive turnout.
Another member of the Chief’s cabinet whose identity is shielded, told the NTBLCP that he was delighted for the enlightenment campaign as the community needs it.
He revealed that his brother’s wife had a serious cough while pregnant, and for fear of being stigmatized refused to go to the hospital for testing but a good nurse had taken the pains to get a sample collection tube, collected the pregnant woman’s sputum sample and after testing, the result was positive.
She was immediately placed on treatment and cured completely of the disease because she was detected earlier and treated immediately.
However, the experience of the pregnant Lady caused authorities to test people close to her and two persons were found to be positive. They too were placed on treatment and eventually cured.
The World TB Day is celebrated on the 24 of March and the theme for this year is “Invest to end TB, Save Lives”, while the 2022 slogan for Nigeria is “Give More, Do More, End TB Now!”