The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has reinstated the need to scale up funding for research and innovation and strengthen partnerships to accelerate global efforts to end tuberculosis and save millions of lives lost annually to TB-related deaths.
The governor said this in commemoration of World Tuberculosis Day, marked every March 24, by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other organs of the United Nations system to raise awareness of the disease.
Obaseki, who acknowledged the significant progress recorded in the global fight against TB, noted that there was a need to improve investments in TB research and innovation to achieve the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal of ending the epidemic by 2030.
He said, “Today, we join the rest of the world to commemorate World Tuberculosis Day to raise awareness about TB and efforts to end the global epidemic causing 1.6 million deaths each year and affecting millions more, with enormous impacts on families and communities.
“It is heartwarming to know that we have made significant progress in tackling the disease which is one of the world’s top infectious killers, but there is still much work to be done. To achieve the goal of ending TB by 2030, we must sustain collaboration and increase investments in research and innovation, particularly in low- and middle-income countries where the burden of the disease is greatest
“It behooves all stakeholders, including policymakers, TB experts, civil society organizations, and communities to intensify collaborations and partnerships to develop new and innovative strategies to improve diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of TB so as to end the avoidable torment and deaths from this common enemy of mankind.”
Reaffirming his government’s commitment to the health and well-being of Edo people, Obaseki further noted that his administration is pursuing a holistic reform of its health sector with a focus on the state’s primary healthcare system to improve access to healthcare services and combat tuberculosis and other infectious diseases in the state.
He added that the intensified campaign on immunization in the state is anchored on the need for children to lead lives that are not shortened by vaccine-preventable diseases.
According to Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, “TB is preventable, treatable and curable, and yet this ancient scourge that has afflicted humanity for millennia continues to cause suffering and death for millions every year.
“WHO is committed to supporting countries to step up their response, by expanding access to services to prevent, detect and treat TB as part of their journey towards universal health coverage, and to strengthen their defences against epidemics and pandemics.”