…..As Cross River TB Program response ranked top performing in 2020 National assessment- National TB program & KNCV

State Correspondent

TB response and indeed several other diseases challenging the health sector suffered huge set back in Year 2020 as attention was concentrated on COVID-19 response.

This was not the case in Cross River state, as the state Ministry of Health was able to sustain and even improve on TB response, as well as other disease responses reducing mortality associated with those diseases while tackling COVID-19 appropriately.

The government of Sen Prof Ben Ayade rose up to the challenge working with its partners to tackle TB disease in the State resulting in Cross River State ranking the 2nd best performing State in Tuberculosis activities in Nigeria for year 2020.

Tuberculosis (TB) is a serious infectious disease that mainly affects your lungs. The bacteria that cause tuberculosis are spread from one person to another through tiny droplets released into the air via coughs and sneezes.

With over 1.4m people dying of TB as at 2019.

In a bid to step up the fight against TB in the State, the State Governor Sen Prof Ben Ayade represented by the Honorable Commissioner for Health Dr Betta Edu has today launched the “Wellness on Wheels (WOW)”, an innovation supported by USAID through KNCV in the diagnosis of Tuberculosis.

The Truck which contains an X-ray Machine with CAT system which can give you a presumptive case in 3 mins, also have GeneXpert machines that can confirm diagnosis in 2hrs.

Speaking during the launching exercise, the Health Commissioner Dr Betta Edu thanked the State Governor Sen Prof Ben Ayade for his tiredless efforts in supporting the health sector while assuring cross riverians of more positive results in strengthening the health care deliver system.

“As a result of the unrelenting support of Governor Ben Ayade, our State became the 2nd best in Nigeria in TB activities and I assure you that we won’t relent as TB case finding/management will be stepped up. We want to be number 1. By this innovation, TB diagnosis and treatment will be brought to our door steps even in rural communities. People don’t need to go to the hospitals/laboratories to get tested we will test you in your community and village.

” Our TB testing and treatment has now gone on Wheels and for the next 6months, free testing and treatment is available to all. From Calabar municipality the truck is headed to rural communities in Boki LGA; since Boki has the highest burden/ number of positive TB cases in CRS.

“I call on Cross Riverians in the hinterlands, hard to reach areas and villages to all come out and benefit from this digital innovation. Cross River state thanks USAID, the Country Director of KNCV, Dr Betrand Odume and his entire team for the support.”

The DG of the CRSPHCDA, Dr Janet Ekpenyong expressed her excitement over the new innovation which will help facilitate the TB fight in the State.

“Our Primary Health workers will mobilize the communities to benefit”, she said.

Dr Betrand Odume, the KNCV Country Director applauded the State for not relenting in the fight against TB while thanking the State Government and the Health Ministry for an excellent performance last year and for remaining steadfast and focused in giving cross riverians a more improved health care system.

Highlight of the event was the launching of the Wellness on Wheels Truck by Dr Betta Edu followed by an inspection of the Truck’s facilities as the head of the Hausa/Fulani community which was the host community Alh Salisu Abba Lawal charged all the Muslim people residing in Bogobri to come all out and grab this opportunity to get tested while thanking Sen Prof Ben Ayade and Dr Betta Edu for always carrying Hausa communities along in all health interventions. 532 persons got tested at event

With the Commissioner for Health during the event was Dr Offor, the State Director for TB, Dr Eze in charge of the Wellness and Wheels, Dr Austin Ihesie, the Snr Program Manager of TB South South Zone and a host of other dignitaries.

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