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April 21, 2024
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Gov. Babagana Zulum

Borno Commissioner raises concerns over TB drug access

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By Yakubu Uba

Borno’s Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Prof. Baba Gana, revealed that a significant number of tuberculosis patients in the state, estimated at 16,000, are not availing themselves of treatment.

Speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting in Maiduguri to mark World Tuberculosis Day, Gana emphasised that only 5,905 patients have been identified and treated, leaving over 10,000 individuals unaccounted for.

This gap poses a risk of further infection within the community, prompting Gana to urge advocacy for TB diagnosis.

The commissioner expressed the ministry’s commitment to collaborating with partners to address the situation and announced the appointment of a new TB programme manager with a mandate to improve treatment coverage.

Gana stressed the importance of allocating resources to TB treatment, citing the state’s compliance with the Abuja Declaration, which allocates 15 per cent of the budget to healthcare.

He also praised partners such as WHO, Global Fund, UNICEF, and USAID for their support and called on the media to raise awareness about TB symptoms and encourage testing.

Gana urged parents to ensure their children receive TB vaccinations, which are provided free of charge.

Dr Ibrahim Salisu, Borno Coordinator of WHO, emphasised the global impact of TB and highlighted recent progress in diagnosis and treatment, while pledging continued support for the state.

Dr Ali Goni, Borno Programme Manager of TB, stressed the need for collaborative efforts across sectors to combat TB effectively.

The event included a road walk to raise public awareness and a presentation on TB cases among children below 10 years by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), which reported diagnosing 328 cases at one of its facilities in Maiduguri. (NAN) www.nannews.ng 

Edited by Gabriel Yough

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