The Nigerian Thoracic Society (NTS) has revealed that over 162,000 people die of tuberculosis in the country annually.
This was disclosed to newsmen in a statement to mark this year world TB day yesterday in Uyo, by the President of the Society Professor Prince Ele
Ele who explained that close to 430,000 people also fall ill with the disease in the country said Tuberculosis remains the world’s deadliest infectious killer and Global efforts to combat the disease has saved millions of lives in Nigeria and globally since the year 2000.
According to him, “the World TB Day is celebrated March 24 to raise awareness about the health, social and economic consequence 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’’.
He lamented that despite strong commitments made by world leaders all 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 and if this trend continues global targets to control TB will be missed’
He urged Government at all levels in the country and other world leaders to ensure that TB gets necessary attention as the number one infectious killer disease.
“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 emphasize the need to constantly observe all COVID-19 preventive protocols.
“This is a message and a plea to the Nigerian government and world leaders to ensure that TB gets the necessary attention as the number one infectious killer disease.” The statement said.