By Kemi Olatunde
Ondo State Government has called for more collaboration and cooperation from partners to expand screening processes for the detection of more Tuberculosis cases and adequate patients’ treatment.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Banji Awolowo Ajaka, disclosed this at the Flag-off ceremony of the 2023 World Tuberculosis Day themed “Yes, We Can End TB” in Akure, the state capital.
Dr Ajaka said to reduce the menace of Tuberculosis, Ondo State government has increased case detection from 1,800 cases in 2019 to 3,514 cases in 2022.
He stated further that there has been a significant increase in the laboratory facilities available for the molecular diagnosis of Tuberculosis GeneXpert from the initial eight in seven Local Government Areas to 11 in nine Local Government Areas in the State which he said has helped in increasing the testing of TB samples.
He explained that effort by the Ondo State Government in eradicating Tuberculosis in the State had been recognized by the National Tuberculosis Control Programme in 2022 as the State was Awarded the Best in the Utilization of GeneXpert Services for the diagnosis of TB in the Country and for increasing the TB case finding by greater than 35% over previous semester in 2021. These were given to the State very recently.
The commissioner promised that the state would not rest on its oars as the government would do more to ensure Tuberculosis is eradicated.
He appreciated the Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, for his strong political will to end Tuberculosis in the State while also saluting the robust and unflinching support enjoyed from partners including World Health Organization, Damien Foundation Belgium, APIN Public Health Initiatives Ltd and Kids and Teens Resource Centre in eradicating Tuberculosis in the State.
He enjoined the citizens of the state to be part of the community sensitization programmes lined up in 12 Local Government Areas in the State as part of activities of the World Tuberculosis Day celebration.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Pharm (Mrs) Folukemi Aladenola, while giving the welcome described Tuberculosis has an infectious disease that has its’ toll on developing countries especially Nigeria and it is also associated with low socio- economic status.
She disclosed that 3514 people were diagnosed and treated in the state in 2022.
She explained that the increase in TB case finding over the years has enabled people living with the disease to be treated quickly to reduce the disease burden in the State.
The State Coordinator of World Health Organization [WHO], Dr Dele David, while giving his goodwill message said ending Tuberculosis was feasible and urged all other Implementing partners to support the Government in local communities drive for the eradication of Tuberculosis earlier and