Saturday, 19 October 2019

N News

Goodwill Message for World TB Day

Good morning everyone!

All protocols observed!

My name is Ineke Huitema and I am the acting Country Director for KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation. KNCV is a Dutch NGO and our organization is devoted to eliminating the single most important infectious disease killer: Tuberculosis. We exist already for more than 110 years. Our expertise is in all aspects of TB care and prevention. We work worldwide. Our mission is to free the world of Tuberculosis. TB is our passion and the patient is always in the centre in all we are doing.

We work in partnership and close collaboration with the national TB programs.

In Nigeria KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation has several projects. Our biggest project is Challenge TB, a 5 year project funded by USAID. The objectives of the project are to improve the access to TB services, prevent transmission and disease progression and strengthen TB service delivery platforms. Challenge TB operates in 14 states. We are the service provider for Cepheid for GeneXpert and we are working with the Nigerian National Agency for Control of AIDS (NACA) on a project to install 185 GeneXpert machines in all States of Nigeria. Next week all 185 machines will have been installed. These machine will help to diagnose TB better and faster.

It is with great pleasure that I bring to you this goodwill message on this World Tuberculosis Day 2017, with the theme –UNITE to End TB in Nigeria and the Slogan ‘Accelerating TB Case Finding and Treatment’. 2 This theme is very timely at this crucial period because of the high TB burden in Nigeria. As some of us may know, Nigeria has the highest TB burden in Africa and is globally number 4.

With this in mind, there is a need for us to wake up and recognize that TB is now a global epidemic and as such, we all need to act fast to find patients with TB and to cure them and also teach the community on prevention. TB is curable disease and whenever somebody is coughing we should think “could this be TB”?

For a very long time, TB has been in the back seat and thus little knowledge has been known of the disease. However, the good news is that now the TB community is very much awake and ready to do all it can to fight this silent killer disease. And remember TB and HIV/AIDS are like twin brothers and sisters, whenever somebody has TB they should be tested for HIV/AIDS and whenever somebody is HIV positive they should be tested for TB.

As partners in the fight against TB, We are very excited that the Honorable Minister of Health is able to grace this event, this assures of the Government’s commitment to help fight this battle. We are also grateful to the media, civil society organizations, community based organizations and all partners who are all striving for a Nigeria free of tuberculosis.

I sincerely congratulate the Ministry of Health, as well as the National Tuberculosis, Buruli Ulcer and Leprosy Control Programme for making this 2017 World TB Day an engaging one. I commend their effort in the fight against tuberculosis in Nigeria.

I believe that with such efforts from all of us here, the day will come that we have end tuberculosis in Nigeria and it will be a disease of the past! 3 Let’s all unite to end TB not only today but also tomorrow, next week and the whole year round.

Thank you.


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