By Hauwa Ahmed Shehu
Religious and Community Leaders in Bauchi state as well as the media have expressed their willingness to assist in enlightening people on the dangers, causes and treatment of tuberculosis.
To this end, they have promised to use their pulpits, preaching sessions and the airwaves to mobilize people to go for tuberculosis test whenever they notice symptoms of the disease such as prolong cough, weight loss and night sweating.
They made the pledge at a one-day orientation on tuberculosis organized for members of the State Social and Behavior Change Advocacy Core Group by the state TB and Leprosy Control Programme with support from USAID Breakthrough Action Nigeria.
Co-Chairman of the Group Abdullahi Yakubu Marafa who read out the resolution of the meeting said their decision to support the tuberculosis campaign was necessitated by the dangers of the disease and its low detection rate in the state.
Abdullahi Yakubu Marafa expressed worry that out of the over 15,000 cases ocurring annually in the state, only a little over 4,000 are being detected and treated, representing less than 25%.
The Programme Manager of the State Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme Dr. Yakubu Gida Abdullahi said there are now over five hundred treatment sites of tuberculosis in the state and informed people of the state that the treatment of the disease is free of charge.
The one-day orientation was attended by Christian and Islamic Religious Leaders across the sects as well as representatives of print and electronic media in the state.