By Regina Igwebuike/Chukwudi Nwauba
Awka, May 31, 2021 (MOI) Anambra State Director National Orientation Agency (NOA) Charles Nwoji has assured Anambra State ‘Stop TB Campaign Team’ of the Agency’s readiness to work in synergy with it to create awareness on Tuberculosis (TB) at the area of grassroots.
Nwoji gave the assurance when the State TB Team visited him at his Awka office to strategise on best ways to enlighten Ndi Anambra on TB.
He said that TB was an ancient disease but that people know little about it, emphasising that the more awareness would be created about it, the sooner the burden would be reduced.
Director explained that TB awareness creation should be sustained to yield positive results.
According to him, offices of NOA at the 21 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state will be drilled on what TB is all about.
They would in turn hold repeat sessions with their subordinates, integrating it into their programmes for grassroots sensitisation.
Anambra State TB/Leprosy Programme Manager, Dr Ugochukwu Chukwulobelu said that NOA had as one of its mandates to let people know what was happening in the country.
Dr Chukwulobelu said with NOA’S presence in Anambra, the TB Team needed to leverage on their mandate to let the people know more about TB in the state.
“We want to build synergy with NOA and other media organisations to enlighten people about TB, particularly by reaching out to the communities.’’
He explained that the disease was curable if detected in good time but problems lay when complications set in.
“We want to create awareness to be able to detect them in time, enroll them and commence treatment early.’’
Dr Chukwulobelu said that supervisors at the rural areas have been detailed to assist the elderly people who could not come out.
He then urged the NOA to notify the team a week before their meeting for the experts to come and educate them on what to communicate to the public on the disease.
Lucy Okechukwu of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) appealed to the TB experts to always make available newsworthy materials to the media for immediate release to the public, urging that the sensitisation be a continuous exercise in order to produce positive results.
Chukwudi Chukwuenyem of Purity FM noted that phone-in into live programmes on Radio and Television would help to clear people’s misconceptions on TB, stressing that a 2-day broadcast would help to sensitise the people.
In an interview shortly after the session, Dr Ebuka Ugwu, WHO Resident Officer in Anambra said that the visit was to formally engage NOA in the ongoing partnership which the ministry had with the media.
Dr Ugwu said that they want to use the platform to spread the message of TB to communities, noting that there were a lot of misconceptions and myths about it.
According to him, there are 12 states that have high burden of TB, two in every geopolitical zone and Anambra happens to be one of them, which is why he came as a resident Officer to support TB communities.
“We provide technical support to all the partners in the state especially to the state TB control group, LGAs, supervisors and health facilities with TB.
“When doctors in health facilities have difficulties, they can call us and we provide support.’’ The resident officer said that TB control in Anambra is a multimillion naira project, noting that health needs are much higher than the health resources available. (MOI)