From Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri

Borno State has rolled out a new approach to halt the spread of tuberculosis in the area.

Commissioner of Health and Human Services Prof Mala Gana, in an address delivered at the 2024 World TB Day in Maiduguri on Monday, said TB can be a big threat to Borno, neighbouring states and African nations due to its location.

The new approach according to the commissioner, includes aggressive sensitization and routine immunization to end tuberculosis, the world’s oldest and deadliest disease.

“We don’t want TB to be a threat to us in Borno or to neighbouring states as well as countries around us,” Prof Gana said.

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He said the theme of this year: Yes We can End TB should be a commitment not only by the government and partners but also by all stakeholders including survivors, religious leaders and households.

The commissioner said Borno captured only 5,000 out of the 16,000 people suspected of having TB in the past years. He however expresses joy infected persons will now have a sigh of relief due to the availability of diagnostic machines and free drugs for treatment.

He appealed to people to bring their children for vaccination. “We only need one immunization in a lifetime and it is free,” he disclosed

He commended the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the training of health personnel in the 27 local governments, UNICEF and the Global Fund.

WHO State Coordinator, Dr Ibrahim Salisu said that World TB Day is not only to raise awareness but to reflect on the progress recorded in the right against TB and acknowledge challenges from diagnosis as well as treatment.