2009 world tuberculosis day has been observed with a focus to raise public awareness on the danger associated with the disease in Nigeria.
This year’s theme being I AM STOPPING TB is based on the need to check the spread of the disease in the developing countries of 22 in number with Nigeria rated the fifth TB burdened country.
The opinion of a cross section of the public in Port Harcourt and Obio Akpor local government in Rivers State and Yanagoa was sampled Tamunobarabi Gogo Ibulubo who observed that most of them claimed ignorance of the effect of tuberculosis and any meaning full effort done either by the government or individual to stem TB.
They called for more public enlightenment campaign by the government to enable members of the public to identify the infection and how to access medical facilities.
According to them, they encourage their friends or relations who show signs of protracted cough to consult relevant medical practitioners for assistance.
The state TB control officer Dr. Bamidele Agborubere and the World Health Organisation south-South Zonal officer for TB Dr. Michael Jose said TB is a killer disease and advised that any one who has experienced persistent cough for two weeks to go for TB screening test and treatment .
They encouraged members of the public to avail themselves of the twenty two TB diagnostics centres located at health centres in eighteen local government areas in Rivers State. Members of the public can also go the one hundred and thirteen Dot-centres for attention. The treatment for TB is free with modalities being concluded to make diagnosis free also.
The noted that most of the death witnessed among HIV/AIDS victims is reinforced by TB presence in the person and called for commensurate attention for TB situation as given to HIV/AIDS.
They advised affected people not to expose their sputum, avoid overcrowded places, and open their windows and doors for cross ventilation in order to check TB in the society.