By Luminous Jannamike
Wife of the President, Hajia Aisha Buhari, has appointed wife of the Vice President, Dolapo Osinbajo, and the 36 States’ First Ladies as national tuberculosis Champions to influence the fight to end the disease in Nigeria.
Speaking at the investiture ceremony in Abuja yesterday, Mrs Buhari, who is Global TB Ambassador and Champion, noted that 18 Nigerians including children die every hour from tuberculosis in the country.
Aisha Buhari attributed the challenges facing Nigeria’s TB response, especially low case detection and ignorance to low awareness creation.
Against that background, Aisha Buhari charged the wives of the 36 States’ Governors and the VP to prioritise advocacies to end the disease in their domains, saying: “Tuberculosis is curable. Nobody needs to die of TB in this age. As mothers, as women, the wives of Governors can largely influence the fight to end the disease in Nigeria.”
Speaking also, Dr Lucica Ditiu, the Executive Director, Global Stop TB Partnership based in Geneva Switzerland, stressed that leaders from various sectors in the country were needed to lead the fight against tuberculosis more than ever before.
She commended Aisha Buhari for appointing the 37 national TB champions, describing it as highly significant because of Nigeria’s ranking as number one country with the highest burden of the disease in Africa.
In her remarks, Dr Temitayo Odusote, the TB Team Lead of USAID Nigeria, encouraged the First Ladies to work with other stakeholders to amplify the awareness about TB and advocate for more domestic resources to support TB programs and services.