Lagos First Lady launches three mobile chest X-ray vans for TB screening

… Restates Commitment to Advocacy, Collaborative Effort in Fighting TB

. . . As Vans Will Move Around Lagos To Screen Residents

The wife of the Lagos State Governor, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, has launched three mobile chest X-ray vans to support Tuberculosis (TB) screening, active case searches and improve the diagnosis of TB in Lagos communities.

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The mobile x-ray vans, which will move around the State to provide prompt chest x-ray services and effective diagnosis of TB within communities, were manufactured to specification and are adequately equipped to effectively provide comprehensive on-site screening, diagnosis and treatment for TB.

Speaking at the launch of the specialised vehicles, held at the Evans Square, Lagos Mainland Local Government Area, Mrs. Sanwo-Olu said the Mobile X-Ray vans were acquired by the State government in furtherance of its determination to explore innovative, efficient and latest practices in health care service delivery.

She disclosed that the State Government has also acquired 18 State-of-the-art X-Ray machines evenly situated in 18 health care facilities across the State for TB Chest x-ray screening, adding that citizens can visit any of the facilities and get screened for TB, free of charge.

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“It is hoped that the introduction of this Chest X-ray screening will bridge the gap of inadequate logistics for TB diagnosis, improve childhood TB diagnosis and ultimately bring TB diagnosis and care to the door steps of Lagosians. A total of 38,277 TB cases were missed in Lagos State in 2019 and it is hoped that the introduction of Lagos TB Chest X-Ray screening will drastically reduce the number of missed TB cases in subsequent years”, Dr. Sanwo-Olu said.

While noting that the TB case notification rate has progressively increased over the years in Lagos State, the wife of the Governor, who is also the State TB champion, disclosed that Lagos has over 1,249 TB Direct Observed Treatment (DOTS) centres geared towards increasing access to care across the 20 LGAs and 37 LCDAs.

Dr. Sanwo-Olu, however, appealed to citizens not to stigmatise anyone suspected of having TB but rather help them seek access to diagnosis and treatment at any of the DOTS centres close to their home.

Speaking earlier, the State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, said the State Government is resolute in ensuring that Lagosians are appropriately empowered to become responsible for their health and well-being while taking all necessary precautions to ensure active involvement in the fight against communicable diseases such as Tuberculosis.

Abayomi, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Olusegun Ogboye, said awareness, early detection and prompt treatment are key to favourable outcomes, noting that it is imperative to prevent and reduce the burden of TB through these parameters.

He explained that chest x-ray has historically been identified as one of the primary tools for detecting Tuberculosis (TB), especially pulmonary TB, adding that in the developed world, mobile mass radiography has been employed as a strategy for TB screening with resultant coverage of a huge proportion of the population.

“It has been proven that chest X-ray, isolation of people with infectious TB and provision of TB treatment could significantly reduce the community’s TB burden. These Mobile X-ray vans will be moving around the State to screen people, provide prompt CXR services and effective diagnosis of TB within the communities”, the Commissioner said.

Present at the event were Chairmen of Lagos Mainland LG and Yaba LCDA, Mrs. Omolola Essien and Mr. Kayode Omilabu as well as representatives of TB partner organisations.

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A press statement by the Embassy on Friday, said: “During the visit, Townsend met with the Nigerian President’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, and National Security Adviser, Babagan Monguno, to discuss regional security issues and to express the command’s gratitude for the assistance provided during a hostage rescue operation last year.

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“They quickly provided assistance that helped the U.S. military to save an American life. That is a strong example of our partnership with Nigeria.”

Townsend also met with senior military officials, including the Minister of Defence, Bashir Salihi Magash, and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor, to talk about on-going cooperation in the region and greater maritime security and threat mitigation.

Nigeria is a key partner in countering violent extremist organizations throughout the Lake Chad Basin.

Townsend said furthermore: “The bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the U.S. is built on several pillars including security cooperation.

“U.S. Africa Command will do our part to advance the security cooperation pillar, so that Nigerians can enjoy the more secure future they all deserve.”

As close partners, the U.S. and Nigeria have worked at ensuring the collaborative relationship continues to grow to include a commitment to interoperability. Nigeria purchased 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft, which will be delivered later this year.

“Nigeria’s purchase of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft is another example of their commitment to interoperability and security in the region,” he added. “Our economic relationship with Nigeria is already strong, and we look forward to the continued strengthening of security relationships. Nigeria’s leaders understand the importance of a collaborative approach to ensuring stability in West Africa and partnering on areas of mutual interest.”

The Commander also met with the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard.

Leonard said: “General Townsend’s visit to Nigeria demonstrates the strategic importance the United States places on our bilateral relationship with Nigeria.

“Our security cooperation partnership with Nigeria’s military will strengthen the country’s capabilities to secure land and sea borders, enhance overall security, and combat terrorism in the North East.”

As part of the visit, Townsend participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Nigeria Military National Cemetery to honour those who have given their lives in the service of their nation.

During the visit, the delegation expressed their condolences for the seven service men killed in the crash of a Nigerian Air Force aircraft in Abuja.