Gov Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State was on Thursday named as Africa’s tuberculosis eradication champion.
The governor was given the award at a dinner with the Private Sector community on Domestic Resource Mobilisation to end TB in Nigeria.
The event was organized by Stop TB Partnership Nigeria as part of the High-Level Mission on Domestic Resource Mobilization to end TB in Nigeria.
Speaking at the event, Sanwo-Olu called on stakeholders to lead the fight against the total eradication of Tuberculosis (TB).
The governor reemphasized that tuberculosis was the 13th leading cause of death and second after COVID-19.
He said that it was no longer news that Nigeria was the sixth among the countries in the world with a high prevalence of TB and second in Africa.
“All of us are in denial, tuberculosis was something that was far off but the reality was that it was near,” he said.
The governor said there were issues “we need to ask ourselves; are we going to fold our hands before our domestic staff bring it to us and it becomes fatal?, ”
He, therefore, charged to public and stakeholders to go out and champion the course to end tuberculosis in Nigeria.
“As a journalist, you can write about it. Another clarion call for all of us.
“Let us do something with a difference, let us show that we are reducing the burden,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu said that his administration would be more committed to its eradication, but noted that drug resistance was the greatest burden.
According to him, patients come up with drug resistance and can’t be allowed to go back to society but isolate themselves.
He said that the state government would be converting its COVID-19 facilities into tuberculosis facilities and disclosed that his administration was trying to raise money to build a world-class infectious diseases research institute.