• Sunday, June 23, 2024
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BA-N lauds Akwa Ibom government over improved commitment to TB eradication

BA-N lauds Akwa Ibom government over improved commitment to TB eradication

Breakthrough Action Nigeria, an organisation involved in social behavioural change and supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has lauded the Akwa Ibom government for its commitment towards Tuberculosis (TB) prevention and treatment in the state.

Speaking in an interview as part of activities to mark this year’s World TB Day, Bassey Nsa, the coordinator of BA-N in Akwa Ibom State said with the setting up of the Primary Healthcare Development Agency by the state government, coordination and collaboration of programmes by implementing partners and donor agencies had been made easier adding that it has resulted in effective healthcare delivery service.

“We should rise and seize the opportunity and the good environment to improve our health condition, to make sure we kick out TB in the state. We have available implementing partners, and improving sector participation involving all stakeholders,” Nsa said.

“Government however should improve its funding for TB programmes. The private sector should also be involved. Family head, community leaders, traditional leaders, religious leaders should avail themselves of the TB services that are available.’’

Nsa however expressed regret that the knowledge about TB, its symptoms and transmission mode is low and blamed it on behavioural issues as well as on myths and misconceptions which he said had led to stigmatisation of the patients.

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“Our work as USAID project known as Breakthrough Action is basically on social behaviour change to address behavioural issues to improve the knowledge of TB and others in the area of its transmission, symptom and treatment,” he added.

According to him, there is low knowledge of availability of TB services and treatment adding that there is need to improve the knowledge on TB transmission, symptoms and prevention and the need to improve the behaviour of people in the social setting to enable them avail themselves on the TB services that are provided free by the donor agencies and the state government.

“We need to work together to solve the TB problem in the society, that is why advocacy, and social behavioural change approach is used to reach individuals in the community and refer them to health facilities. It also helps the government to improve funding for TB as well as advocacy to the private sector so that they can see the need to use their Social Corporate Responsibility to invest in TB services,’’ he said.

He expressed the hope that despite the enormous health challenges the country is facing including having to deal with TB, it is possible to kick TB out of the society since the services are free when those affected visit health facilities for testing and treatment and solicited the support of the private sector in the campaign against TB in the state.

The theme for this year’s World TB Day is “Invest in TB. Save lives. According to the World TB report, only 26 percent of the TB cases was reported in 2019.