Officials of the Nigerian Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDs team have put strategies in place to end the spread of the deadly disease within the next 20 years.
The World Health Organisation, WHO, had projected the next 200 years beginning from 2015 to wipe out tuberculosis from the world.
While decrying the rate of deaths from tuberculosis in Nigeria, the body condemned the poor attitude of government towards the disease, insisting that its lackadaisical stance was a challenge in the fight against the disease.
To this end, the group made up of civil society group and health care providers called on all stakeholders and the Nigerian government to join in the collaborative fight to bring the deadline to reality.
Delta State Tuberculosis Programme Officer, Dr. Ufuoma Aduh, disclosed this during a special session with healthcare providers and members of civil society groups in Asaba.
Aduh revealed that though the WHO has set the next 200 years to end tuberculosis spread, with concerted efforts from all stakeholders in the Nigerian project, the disease could be brought to a standstill in 2035.
Dr. Aduh said “at national, state, local and community levels, we are coming together to fight the disease. We are moving from passive case finding to actively finding those who actually have tuberculosis. The strategy is to engage all stakeholders in the Nigerian project.
“We need to do research to find out what we are not doing well that we need to do better. How can we develop vaccines that can prevent people from having TB. These are strategies being deployed at global and national levels so that we can meet the target of ending TB in 2035”.
Aduh said globally, not less than three million people die annually from tuberculosis, adding that it is more prevalent in developing countries like Nigeria.
He said Nigeria has estimated cases of 600,000 people being infected by the disease annually, but the team of doctors fighting tuberculosis is able to attend to only 90,000 persons annually.