By Hassan Zaggi
The Acting Board Chairman, Stop Tuberculosis (TB) Partnership, Dr Ayodele Awe, has called on governments at all levels to, while fighting the dreaded Covid-19, to also pay attention to TB.
This, according to him, is because both diseases are airborne.
He gave the advice at a sensitization campaign on the dangers and the need for prompt treatment of TB organized by KNCV TB Foundation and other partners in the fight against TB, at Wuse Market, Abuja, weekend.
The event was part of activities to mark the World TB Day.
According to him: “While we are fighting Covid-19, we should not forget about TB. Covid-19 and TB are almost the same thing. They are both airborne diseases,” he stressed.
On why they decided to take the sensitization, diagnosis and treatment of TB to the Wuse market, Dr. Awe said: “Each year, we look for a place where we can get a large concentration of people. Our coming to the market is to sensitize the market people.
“We have about 100 people going into different stores talking to people to tell them that if they have been coughing for two weeks or more, we have a machine-WoW truck, that can provide testing immediately.”
He explained that the WoW truck “is a containerized diagnostic vehicle. It has two Gene Xpert machine and two X-ray machine.
“Any person that is coughing in this market, the machine is here throughout the day to examine him/her.
“Instead of us waiting for you to come to the hospital, we have brought this machine to market. The testing in free of charge.”
Speaking, the Executive Director, KNCV TB Foundation, Nigeria, Dr. Odume Bethrand, noted that his group decided to take the campaign to Wuse market because of its desire to ensure that Nigeria joins the rest of the world to end TB.
“Most times, we have community outreaches, but this year we decided to come to the Wuse market with this TB Market Storm to create awareness.
“Nigeria need to join other countries to end the TB epidemic.
“You can see the WOW truck. It is a one stop shop for TB screening and diagnosis and we have linkage coordinators to link anybody who has TB to any treatment site in the FCT.
“We equally have Gene Xpert machine in the Wow truck. In a space of within two hours, anybody can have his result and be linked with the treatment centre,” he said.