From Scholastica Hir, Makurdi 

As the world mark the 2024 World TB, Tuberculosis Day on Sunday, March 24, 2024, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, (AHF), Nigeria, has urged both the federal and state governments to prioritize TB prevention and treatment efforts.

AHF Nigeria, in a statement signed by the organization’s Advocacy and Marketing Manager, AHF Nigeria, Steve Aborisade and made available to newsmen in Makurdi on Saturday.

It explained that in partnership with other stakeholders particularly in the TB programs, would be honouring millions of people who lost their lives to TB, in their state of operation including Abuja-FCT, Benue, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Cross River, Kogi and Nasarawa states.

While AHF Nigeria is saying ‘Yes! We Can End TB’, the organization is also calling on all stakeholders to join them on the occasion of the World TB Day to raise awareness on “one of the world’s deadliest infectious diseases that is the leading cause of death for people living with HIV, yet 100% preventable and treatable.

Through dedicated radio awareness effort, AHF Nigeria with officials from the office of TB focal persons in these states shall be educating the public on TB prevention and creating awareness about the availability of free TB treatment, across Nigeria.

Through this effort, all the TB Directly Observed Therapy (DOT) centers across AHF Nigeria states of operations shall be popularized so that people can be aware of where to seek help for TB treatment and be knowledgeable about identifying cases and referring them to care and treatment,” the organization said.

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“It is important for stakeholders to create greater awareness about TB and ensure that people get tested for TB and HIV.

“TB is treatable while the treatment is quite accessible and free across Nigeria. It is in this regard that AHF Nigeria is happy to contribute to the existing efforts of the Nigerian TB program through awareness creation and driving greater community involvement and participation through the strategic engagement of community-based organizations (CBOs) and their civil society (CSOs) counterparts”, said Dr. Echey Ijezie, AHF Nigeria Country Program Director.

According to the World Health Organization, TB claimed 1.3 million lives in 2022, including 167,000 people living with HIV, with an estimated nearly 11 million people falling ill to TB worldwide.

“Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) remains a public health crisis and a health security threat, yet only about 2 in 5 people with MDR-TB accessed treatment in 2022.

“Global efforts to combat TB have saved an estimated 75 million lives since 2000.”

World TB Day is recognized annually on March 24, and AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), a global non-profit organization providing cutting-edge medicine and advocacy to over 1.9 million people in 46 countries worldwide, is calling for concerted efforts to end TB in Benue and Nigeria at large.