According to the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, about 54,000 Lagosians are currently living with active tuberculosis.
On the occasion of World Tuberculosis Day, the Lagos State Ministry of Health has vowed to eradicate the disease through partnering with relevant health organizations. This includes raising awareness, increasing testing, upgrading facilities and ensuring continuous provision of free treatment.
Professor Abayomi noted that tuberculosis is a disease caused by bacteria that can stay in the body for a long time undetected. He added that TB is characterized by coughing, weakness, loss of appetite and sometimes coughing out blood.
Speaking on the theme “Yes! We Can End Tuberculosis (TB),” Professor Abayomi said, “If you do know somebody that is coughing, has lost appetite, please encourage them to come for testing because it is quite possible that they have tuberculosis.”
The Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr Olusegun Ogboye, said that the Ministry has deployed three mobile x-ray vans to increase active testing in the state, thereby increasing case finding, diagnosis and access to free treatment of diagnosed cases.
He added that TB is preventable and curable and can affect anybody regardless of their status, religion, ethnicity or position.
“Our theme is conveying a message to us that there is an urgent need to invest resources and our own personal energy to end TB. The theme is sounding the alarm that the inadequate levels of funding for the TB response year after year, cannot continue,” Dr. Ogboye said.
He called on the public to go for TB screening and invest in resources by volunteering or donating at events that are held to spread awareness and raise funds for TB control.