…Flags off ‘Wellness on Wheel scheme in Ogun
From: Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has called on non-governmental organisations, well-meaning Nigerians as well as religious leaders in the country, to support the Federal Government in its fight to reduce the high incidence of tuberculosis disease.
The minister, who noted that Nigeria still ranked 4th among the 30th high TB-burden countries in the world, equally tasked sufferers of the disease not to hesitate to go for prompt screening and treatment at designated TB centres across the country.
According to him, tuberculosis was causing nearly one and a half million deaths each year, particularly in developing countries and maintained concerted efforts must be made towards eradicating the disease in every community.
The minister spoke, on Friday, at the flag-off ceremony of ‘Wellness On Wheel’ (WOW) aimed at controlling the spread of tuberculosis as well as increasing the case detection rate of the disease in Nigeria.
Adewole reiterated the mandate of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration in the health sector which he said would ultimately lead to the elimination of tuberculosis in the country.
Said he, “This is a collaboration between the Federal Ministry of Health and the USAID Challenge TB Project, to carry out a massive campaign to actively diagnose and treat cases of TB in our communities. The innovative campaign involves use of trucks equipped with digital X-ray and GeneXpert machines for the screening and diagnosis of TB.
“These mobile TB diagnostic units will improve access to TB services by bringing TB screening and diagnosis to the door steps of clients as a “one-stop shop”. Ultimately, this will ensure early diagnosis and treatment of TB, and contribute to halting the transmission of TB in the community. It will also improve the health seeking behaviour of the people through the health messages provided in the course of the campaigns”.
Prof. Adewole, who described the fight against tuberculosis as a global task, therefore, commended the collaborative efforts between the federal and state governments, donor agencies as well as all relevant stakeholders.
He added the United Nations placed premium on the campaign against tuberculosis adding that the campaign against TB would also be taken to other parts of the country.
Speaking, Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State urged officials of the state ministry of health to ensure optimal usage of the truck so as to achieve its set objective.
The governor, who said he would constantly seek for progress report on the scheme, added “the campaign will be taken to all the citizens of the state across the 20 local government areas and 37 local council development areas of the state”.