NTS Says “Tuberculosis Kills 162,000 Nigerians Annually”

NTS Says "Tuberculosis Kills 162,000 Nigerians Annually" 5

The Nigerian Thoracic Society has said over 162,000 people die of tuberculosis annually in Nigeria.

This was disclosed to newsmen in a statement on Wednesday by the President of the Society, Prof Prince Ele, as part of activities marking this year’s world TB day with the theme “The clock is ticking” in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.

Ele said that tuberculosis remains the world’s deadliest infectious killer, adding that close to 430,000 people fall ill with the disease in the country.

However, he said global efforts to combat the disease have saved millions of lives in Nigeria and globally since the year 2000.

The World TB Day is celebrated March 24 to raise awareness about the health, social and economic consequences of the disease and to step up efforts to end TB epidemic.

“The theme of World TB Day 2021, “The Clock is ticking” is quite apt considering the current global health and economic challenges. TB remains the world’s deadliest infectious killer.

“Each year, about 162,000 people lose their lives to TB in Nigeria and close to 430,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease in the country. Global efforts to combat TB have saved millions of lives in Nigeria and globally since the year 2000,” he said.

The Professor lamented that despite strong commitments made by world leaders, efforts to end the disease has been relegated to the background as countries grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic.

This, he noted, has put the “end TB” progress at risk, adding that if this trend continues, global targets to control TB would be missed’

“We in the Nigerian Thoracic Society are not oblivious of the current challenges our health authorities are contending with due to covid-19.

“We implore the health authorities to do the needful in the adequate and equitable coverage of the covid-19 vaccination program and want to remind them that TB is still the number one infectious killer disease made worse by the advent and rise in the incidence and prevalence of MDRTB across the world and as such it should continue to receive all the needed attention and the top priority it deserves.

“While we encourage full participation of our members in all local awareness campaigns we emphasise the need to constantly observe all COVID-19 preventive protocols,” he stated.

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