The Kaduna State Government says it has improved in the detection of tuberculosis and the risk of spreading the disease while declaring that 32,297 cases were detected in 2023 in the state.

The state Commissioner for Health, Umma Kaltume-Ahmed, on Thursday, stated this at a press conference to mark the 2024 Tuberculosis Day in Kaduna.

She noted that Tuberculosis case detection in the state has increased from 21,557 cases in 2022 to 32,297 in 2023.

The commissioner stated that the development shows a significant improvement in case findings compared to the figure obtained in 2022.

She attributed their success to the improved support the Tuberculosis programme has received from the state government and the development partners.

The commissioner said the 2024 World TB Day themed, ‘Yes, We Can End TB,’ with the slogan, ‘No Gree For TB, Check Am O,’ was a follow-up call to the commitment made by Global leaders at the 2020 United Nations high-level meeting on TB in New York.

Their target is to end the TB epidemic by the year 2030 by supporting the scale-up of TB access to prevention, diagnosis and treatment, sustainable financing including research and ending stigma and discrimination against people affected by TB.

She, however, noted that tuberculosis remained one of the world’s deadliest infectious killers, adding that “each day, over 4,100 people lose their lives to TB, and close to 28,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease.

“Global efforts to combat TB have saved an estimated 66 million lives since 2000. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has reversed years of progress made in the fight to end TB. For the first time in over a decade, TB deaths increased in 2020.

“This conveys the urgent need to invest resources to ramp up the fight against TB and achieve global leaders’ commitments to end TB.

“This is especially critical in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has put End TB progress at risk, and to ensure equitable access to prevention and care in line with WHO’s drive towards achieving Universal Health Coverage.”

She added that continuous sensitization and more investments would save millions of lives and accelerate the end of the Tuberculosis epidemic, noting that the state has scaled up the number of facilities providing TB services to 78 per cent coverage,

However, the goal is for every facility in the state to provide services, she noted

The Commissioner further said, “The fight against TB is a collective one. I call on all well-meaning residents of Kaduna State and public and private organizations to join the Kaduna State Government in investing in ending TB and saving lives.

“I also call on everyone to use the opportunity and get tested when coughing for two or more weeks. Be rest assured that the disease is curable, and the diagnosis and treatment are free and readily available in the state.”