Wife of the Kwara state Governor, Mrs Olufolake AbdulRazaq, has pledged her commitment to do everything within her power to bring the cases of Tuberculosis (TB) to a barest minimum in the state.
Mrs. Abdulrazaq made the pledge while giving an address during a one-day training course on TB for Community Pharmacists in Ilorin, the kwara state capital.
The training, according to a statement, issued and signed by the Press Secretary, Kwara State Ministry of Health, Mr Falade Gbenga Tayo, and made available to the press, was jointly organised by the Kwara State Government, USAID and an NGO named ‘Sustaining Health Outcomes Through Private Sector’ (SHOPS PLUS).
The wife of the Governor lamented that the burden of Tuberculosis is very high in the state and it contributes significantly to the burden of the disease in Nigeria as a whole apart from the well over 2,500 missed cases.
According to her, the challenge of identifying persons with the disease must be taken professionally with a mindset of overcoming the disease and halting its multiplication in the community.
Mrs. Abdulrazaq further said that the state government is therefore fully committed to ensuring the burden of TB is reduced, especially among the vulnerable groups such as children and drug resistant TB.
She also called on all the stakeholders to support the action plan against tuberculosis.
Also speaking at the training was the Honourable Commissioner for health, Dr Raji Razaq, who reiterated the resolve of the state government to improve the overall healthcare system of the state.
Dr. Razaq who was represented at the training by the TB program Manager in Kwara state, Dr Rasheed Muhammad, noted that the state government has since released counterpart funding to support the critical health care needs in the state.
He assured that with the support of other organisations, the state TB team will work assiduously to close the missing link of those people with TB and bring them for adequate treatment.
The Commissioner also commended the efforts of the Kwara State Governor’s wife for supporting the TB eradication in the state.
The Technical Director of the USAID/SHOP PLUS on TB, Dr. Bolanle Olusola-Faleye, explained that the training was organised to engage Community Pharmacists on how to identify patients with tuberculosis and give proper referral for necessary treatment.
She observed that TB is endemic in Africa, and that Nigeria is the sixth in the world with prevalence of Tuberculosis cases.
She cited socio-economic condition such as poverty, poor housing, crowded environment and undernutrition as among factors that precipitate the spread of the disease.
Olusola-Faleye said drugs for treatment of Tuberculosis are on ground, adding that the challenge is to identify those people with the disease and bring them for treatment.
The expert noted that the rationale behind this training which brings people with multiple cadres such as Pharmacist, Nurses, and private healthcare practitioners together was to overcome the challenges of identifying patients.
The Chairman of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, Kwara Chapter, Mr Adejuwon Otelaja, commended the state government and other stakeholders for organising the training.
He stated that the association would ensure that they work with necessary stakeholders to identify the missing links of TB cases and bring them for better treatment.