Each year World TB Day is commemorated on March 24 to raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of tuberculosis (TB) and to step up efforts to end the global TB epidemic. The date marks the day in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the bacterium that causes TB, which opened the way towards diagnosing and curing this disease.
Despite significant progress over the last decades, TB continues to be the top infectious killer worldwide, claiming over 4,500 lives a day.
Mr Moeti, Regional Director, World Health Organisation in a press statement released on Friday ahead of the World Tuberculosis Day revealed that though the continent has “recorded good progress in controlling TB”, the continent still has the world’s highest level of Tuberculosis with only half of the existing cases being found by the health system.
The World Tuberculosis Day is celebrated March 24. It is a day when global community rallies together to focus on how best to tackle TB as the disease has remained one of the highest killer diseases in the world
Mr Moeti said there are increasing forms of drug resistance TB as most cases are resisting treatment with common medicine.
He said a TB-free world will only be achieved through leaders who champion efforts to end TB at local level.
“I strongly urge governments to scale up domestic funding for TB control and take responsibility for essential medicines and laboratory supplies. Furthermore, governments should push for universal coverage with proven high quality services.
“Since TB is found in communities where human rights and dignity are often overlooked, Governments should lead actions beyond the health sector to address environmental, economic and other factors which increase the risk of TB. Governments, parliamentarians and policy-makers should drive ambitious plans that will accelerate TB control at national level,” he said.
The wife of Nigeria’s president, Aisha Buhari, who also doubles as Global TB Champion and Ambassador called on Nigerians to get tested for TB.
In a press statement released from the state house, Mrs Buhari urged Nigerians who have been coughing persistently for more than two weeks to get tested.
“TB is curable and treatable. TB test and treatment are free in Nigeria. I therefore ask all Nigerians and everyone living in Nigeria to “find TB and treat TB,” she said…