The First Lady, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, has harped on the need for more awareness on the problem of tuberculosis considering the lives lost to a disease that is treatable and curable.
She was speaking during a courtesy visit by a High-Level Mission on Advocacy to End Tuberculosis in Nigeria, at the State House in Abuja.
She was represented by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Administration and Women Affairs, Dr Rukayyat Gurin.
Mrs Buhari was upbeat about the progress made in reaching those affected but drew attention to the fact that many cases remain unreported.
She charged all stakeholders to do more in the area of media engagement, outreach, and advocacy so that no life is lost to tuberculosis.
Speaking on the need for adequate funding, she called on stakeholders including high-net-worth individuals to pay as much attention to tuberculosis as they are paying to COVID-19.
Speaking earlier, the Executive Director of Stop TB Partnership Geneva Dr Lucica Ditiu said she was in Nigeria at the head of a team of officials to review progress made in the eradication of tuberculosis.
She said that despite efforts made, the rates of death by tuberculosis in Nigeria are second in Africa and sixth in the world at 130,000 per annum.
She commended Mrs Buhari’s passion and commitment to the tuberculosis cause since her appointment as Global Tuberculosis Ambassador and Champion.
She also made reference to tuberculosis-in-children which is claiming young lives but is very expensive to treat, and tuberculosis-related infertility as well as malnutrition-induced tuberculosis, stressing that they require urgent and concerted action as they would upscale the tuberculosis figures in Nigeria.