The wife of the Federal President of Nigeria, Mrs. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, says infectious diseases pose challenges far beyond the health sector as they can ruin the entire global economy.
She said the rise of infectious diseases could also spread fear and panic as well as "impact the very core of society as shown by the recent Ebola epidemic.”
Mrs. Buhari stated this in her speech at "The Stop Tuberculosis Partnership Opening Dialogue" on the margins of the ongoing 71st United Nations General Assembly in New York.
She was addressing an audience comprising medical professionals, non-governmental organisations, community representatives, the academia and chief executives of pharmaceutical companies.
She urged world leaders to include tuberculosis as part of the challenges confronting the global community, warning that the world is too inter-connected to treat such a deadly infectious disease in isolation or as a regional disease.
Mrs. Buhari, who noted that no disease in history had crossed as many borders and inflicted as much damage as tuberculosis, disclosed that over 590,000 Nigerians were living with TB which, she said, made the nation one of the worst hit in Africa.
She stated: “A comprehensive national TB surveillance survey conducted in 2012 revealed the burden to be much larger than previously thought with about 300,000 additional TB cases, and a 400% increase in mortality numbers."
She expressed delight that tuberculosis, through the intervention of Stop TB Partnership, "is beginning to receive a more deserving label that is “no longer viewed as inescapable bacteria that must be controlled, but instead as a global emergency that demands a political response at the highest levels.”
Mrs Buhari backed the recent call by the South African Minister Matsoaledi for a United Nations High-Level meeting on TB in September 2017.
She said she looked forward to mobilising other first ladies all over the world and wives of Nigeria's governors to support and advance the cause of ending tuberculosis.
Article : Dailytrust