Mrs Olufolake AbdulRazaq, wife of Kwara Governor on Thursday pledged her commitment to ensure Tuberculosis (TB) infection was reduced in the state.
She made the pledge in an address delivered during a one-day training course on TB for Community Pharmacists in Ilorin.
The training was organised by Kwara Government in collaboration with USAID and an NGO, Sustaining Health Outcomes through the Private Sector (SHOPS) Plus.
According to her, the challenge is identifying persons with the disease in order to stop the multiplying effect.
Mrs AbdulRazaq said the state government was fully committed in ensuring the burden of TB was reduced, in order to stop its multiplying effect on vulnerable groups such as children.
The governor’s wife called for action plan against tuberculosis by all stakeholders, warning that drug-resistance TB called for urgent attention.
She reiterated her support by using her office to do all she could in reducing the burden of TB in Kwara, while commending efforts of stakeholders for the training on healthcare providers.
Also speaking, Dr Raji Razaq, Kwara Commissioner for Health, reiterated the resolve of the state government to improve healthcare of people.
Razaq who was represented by Dr Rasheed Muhammad, TB Programme Manager in Kwara, noted that the state government had since released counterpart funding to support the healthcare in the state.
He assured that with the support of other organisations, the state would close the missing link of those people with TB and bring them for treatment.
The commissioner also commended the efforts of the Kwara Governor’s wife for her support in eradicating TB.
Dr Bolanle Olusola-Faleye, Technical Director of USAID/SHOP plus on TB programme explained that the training was done to engage Community Pharmacists and how to identify patients with tuberculosis and give proper referral for treatment.
She observed that TB was endemic in Africa, saying that Nigeria was the sixth in the world with prevalence of Tuberculosis cases.
She cited socio-economic condition such as poverty, poor housing and crowded environment and under nutrition as among factors that precipitated the spread of the disease.
Olusola-Faleye said drugs for treatment of Tuberculosis were available, saying that the challenge was to identify those with the disease and treat them.
The expert noted that the reason for working with multiple cadres such as pharmacist, nurses, and private healthcare practitioners was to overcome the challenges of identifying patients.
Mr Adejuwon Otelaja, Chairman of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, Kwara Chapter, commended the state government and other stakeholders for organising the training.
He promised that the association would ensure that it worked with necessary authorities to identify the missing links of TB cases and bring them for treatment.