Ondo government says it will soon embark on sensitisation of community and religious leaders on the dangers of tuberculosis.
The Coordinator, Ondo State Tuberculosis, Buruli Ulcer & Leprosy Control Programme (OD-STBLCP), Dr Oluwafemi Aina, made the disclosure on Wednesday in Akure during a sensitisation workshop.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the workshop, held virtually, featured medical experts, advocacy groups and journalists.
Aina said that the workshop was convened to raise awareness on the debilitating effects of the disease, especially if left untreated.
She appealed to Nigerians not to stigmatise those living with tuberculosis but assist them to get necessary treatment.
According to her, the treatment of the disease is free and available at all government hospitals across the 18 local government areas of the state.
Another participant, Mrs Jumoke Adebari, urged the media, as an indispensable change agent in the society, to educate members of the public on the dangers, prevention and treatment of tuberculosis.
Adebari said that no fewer than 18 Nigerians died of tuberculosis every hour, according to statistics by World Health Organisation (WHO).
She listed some of the symptoms of tuberculosis to include: dry cough, sudden loss of weight, fever and persistent night sweating, urging those with such symptoms to always visit health facilities.
According to her, the COVID-19 pandemic may have diverted people’s attention from the realities of tuberculosis due to the similarities in their symptoms.
“People still need to be more cautious by visiting health facilities to check for tuberculosis anytime they have such symptoms,” she said.
Adebari cautioned Nigerians not to attribute tuberculosis to witchcraft but to get tested early and be treated.
While stating that tuberculosis was curable, she, however, added that it must be detected early.