Journalists have been urged to support governments efforts at fighting Tuberculosis through public awareness especially especially at this period when the global attention is on COVID-19.
Resource Persons at a training for journalists in Ekiti and Ondo States at the instance of National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme in collaboration with Breakthrough action gave the charge in Ado-Ekiti.
They explained that data from the World Health Organization ranked Nigeria as the country with highest Tuberculosis infection in 2020 hence the need for Nigerians to take advantage of the free treatment of the disease in authorized health facilities to check the spread of the disease.
“The emergence of coronavirus pandemic in the early year 2020 had diverted public attention from tuberculosis which is also a deadly disease”
“Symptoms of the disease include wet cough and fever which are similar to that of the ravaging Corona Virus”
Resource persons at the training, include Director of advocacy, communication and social mobilization program, Mrs Itohowo Uko said that world health organizations’ data in the year 2020 revealed that Nigeria was ranked first in Africa with highest people living with tuberculosis and observed that early detection and treatment from authorized medical facilities in the country is the only solution to end the disease.
“The treatment is free , from diagnosis stage to the treatment stage that use to last for six months, and people should take the advantage of the free medical service for the ailment”
She believed that journalists have roles to play through awareness and public enlightenment from their various media organizations, hence the need for the capacity building to support stakeholders efforts in combating the disease.
At the end of the training,journalists were advised to always take their reports on the disease from human angle stories, to create emotions and attract public attention.
The state council chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists,Comrade Rotim Ojomoyela acknowledged the organisers of the training and expressed the believe that such will further open the eyes of Journalists to bring to the counciousness of the dangers of Tuberculosis.