The wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, on Thursday called on the relevant stakeholders across the globe to make strategic partnership towards finding lasting solutions to the spread of Tuberculosis in Africa.
Mrs Buhari made the appeal on her social media handle shortly after addressing the United Nations Committee on Tuberculosis (TB) at the sideline of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting followed the adoption of political declaration towards ending Tuberculosis at the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) 2018.
The wife of the president has been appointed as the UN Special Ambassador to end TB in recognition of her selfless services to health Advocacy in Nigeria.
“When I accepted to serve as a TB Champion, I believe there is something I can contribute and I believe there is something every one of us can do to end this epidemic.
“As a global TB Champion and Ambassador, I am committed to work with Stop TB partnership, and other stakeholders such as World Health Organization, especially other First Ladies in Africa and the world to end TB.
Mrs Buhari expressed dismay that a curable and preventable disease such as tuberculosis became one of the most infectious killer diseases.
“ How did we get to the stage where in one year, about 1.7 million people still die needlessly, including over 250,000 children?.
“Unfortunately over 95 per cent of TB deaths also occurs in low and middle-income countries, especially in Africa’’ she said.
She commended the World Health Organization (WHO) and other relevant stakeholders for the success recorded in the fight against Polio, HIV and Ebola diseases.
She, however, questioned the challenges facing the success of the fight against the spread of TB.
“In 2017, 10 million people were infected with TB but only 6.4 million cases of TB were reported as diagnosed and treated, so, where are these “missing” four million.
“And how can they be found, diagnosed and treated; without doing this, every single person not treated can spread the disease to 10-12 others per year,’’ she lamented.
The wife of the president said there was need for increased commitment on the part of political leaders both at national and global levels to stem the scourge.
She also said that human and material resources were needed to end the TB epidemic.
According to her, the resources will support in rolling out new vaccines, diagnosis and treatment as well as strategic advocacy among others.
The fact that this event is holding after about two years of calling for it is a testimony to what and how we can work together in partnership to end TB in our lifetime just as we had done for other major epidemics.
Mrs Buhari made a commitment not to relent in her advocacy until TB was eliminated, especially in Africa (NAN).