The Nigerian Thoracic Society, NTS, has revealed that tuberculosis kills over 162, 000 people in the country annually.
The President of the Society, Prof. Prince Ele, who disclosed this in a press statement issued to newsmen in Uyo, on Wednesday, added that no fewer than 430, 000 people also fall ill with the disease in the country.
He said that Tuberculosis remained the world’s deadliest infectious killer and global efforts to combat the disease had saved millions of lives in Nigeria and globally since the year 2000.
Mr Ele lamented that in spite of strong commitments made by world leaders, all efforts to end the disease had been overtaken as countries grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said that the theme of World TB Day 2021, “The Clock is ticking” was quite apt, considering the current global health and economic challenges.
The NTS president urged the government at all levels in the country and other world leaders to ensure that TB received the necessary attention as the world’s number one infectious killer disease.
“We in the Nigerian Thoracic Society are not oblivious of the current challenges our health authorities are contending with due to COVID-19.
“We encourage full participation of our members in all local awareness campaign; we emphasise the need to constantly observe all COVID-19 preventive protocols,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the World TB Day is celebrated every March 24, to raise awareness about the health, social and economic consequences of the disease and to step up efforts to eliminate the disease.