WORLD TB DAY 2019 – PRESS RELEASE
IT’S TIME – to end TB in Nigeria
Keep the Promise! Find TB! Treat TB!
ABUJA – 24 March 2019
Each year we commemorate World Tuberculosis (TB) Day on March 24, to raise public awareness about the devastating social, economic and health impact of tuberculosis (TB). Despite significant progress over the last decades, TB remains the world’s deadliest infectious disease and require acceleration of efforts to end its epidemic in Nigeria and globally.
World TB Day 2019 is a continuation of our joint efforts to keep TB high on the global and national agenda. The theme of World TB Day 2019 - ‘IT’S TIME’ – puts the accent on the urgency to act on the commitments made by global leaders at the UNHLM in New York, to:
- scale up access to prevention and treatment;
- build accountability;
- ensure sufficient and sustainable financing including for research;
- promote an end to stigma and discrimination, and
- promote an equitable, rights-based and people-centered TB response.
Each day, nearly 4500 people lose their lives to TB and close to 30,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease. Global efforts to combat TB have saved an estimated 54 million lives since the year 2000 and reduced the TB mortality rate by 42%. However, the emergence of drug-resistant TB poses a major health threat and could put at risk the gains made in efforts to end TB!
In 2017, about 1.7 million people including over 250,000 children globally, died of TB-related causes. Over 95% of TB deaths occurs in low and middle-income countries especially in Africa. According to the 2017 Global TB Report, Nigeria is among the 14 high burden countries for TB, TB/HIV and MDR-TB, ranking 7th among the 30 high TB burden countries and 2nd in Africa. TB kills 18 Nigerians every hour. Forty-seven Nigerians develop active TB, seven of which are children, every hour. One of the major challenges of TB response in Nigeria is attributed to low TB case finding both in adult and children. This is attributed partly to poor knowledge about TB that influence the health seeking behaviour of people, and low TB treatment coverage.
To accelerate the TB response in countries to reach targets, Heads of States including His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, came together and made strong commitments to end TB at the first-ever UN High Level Meeting in September 2018. The World TB Day 2019, IT’S TIME, is the first significant moment after the United Nations High-Level Meeting (UNHLM) on TB. IT’S TIME for all stakeholders to come together and unite towards achieving the UN Political Declaration on TB targets. IT’S TIME for us to show we are united in creating a TB FREE Nigeria!
The theme is also aimed at ensuring that all stakeholders including political leaders are reminded of the timely need for action to scale up, research, funding, human rights and accountability to end TB in Nigeria.
For further information, please contact: +234 803 334 5378 – mayowa@StopTBNigeria.org