Tuberculosis: Ondo to embark on sensitisation, free screening, treatment

As part of efforts to eradicate incidences of tuberculosis in Ondo state, the state government has embarked on the free screening test for early detection of the deadly disease.

Apart from this, a lot of programmes have been put in place to sensitise the residents of the state on the need to visit hospitals if they notice any symptoms of the highly contagious and deadly disease.

The state desk officer on tuberculosis and leprosy in Ondo State Primary Healthcare Development Board, Mrs Olufunke Adeniyi, stated this in Akure, the state capital, during a walk and  free screening to commemorate the 2019 World Tuberculosis Day.

Adeniyi disclosed that no fewer than 1,606 tuberculosis cases were recorded in 2018 in the state, noting that despite free treatment many people were still walking around with infected tuberculosis despite its free treatment.

She disclosed that the test and treatment of the disease were free in all public health facilities in the state, saying it is time to eradicate the disease, hence the theme for the 2019 edition ‘It is Time’.

She said, “The state government is motivating the health workers across the 18 local government areas of the state.

“Every public healthcare facility is equipped to adequately treat tuberculosis in the state.

“The government has engaged the health workers to be more responsive and it carries out community outreaches and aggressive awareness,” she stated.

She enjoined members of public to join hands with the government to fight the disease, saying that anyone coughing for two weeks with heavy sweat and inability to sleep  with chest pain should report at nearest public health facility.

Speaking during the event,  the state Monitoring and evaluation officer on tuberculosis and leprosy, Mr. Alexandar Akinwumi, noted that the annual event had been impactful.

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Akinwumi said more success would be recorded because efforts had been made to make tuberculosis a thing of the past in the state.

He said the state government would be creating awareness and engaging in Community Outreaches where screening and treatment is free, saying though the disease is airborne and infectious, but not  hereditary and curable.

He disclosed that the state has about 376 Directly Observed Treatment Clinics ( DOTs) in health facilities in the state including some  private facilities.

The Coordinator of Tuberculosis Networks in the state,  Martin-Mary Falana, opined that public awareness as regards tuberculosis could not be overemphasised, but said that it was high time to end the disease, hence the need for everyone to play their impactful roles in achieving this.

“We all have a responsibility in joining hands to end tuberculosis in our society by referring anyone coughing for two weeks to health facility for treatment which is tottally free,”he urged.

He, however, decried poor funding in nipping the disease in the bud despite being the second deadliest in the world.

He said “Tuberculosis is the second deadliest in the world yet it has cure but people could not access healthcare because there is limited funds to create awareness.

“Even, only 12 per cent out of the money released by Global Funds  is given to tackle the disease. We need more and impactful responses and resources for motivation like HIV activities are given good attention,”