By Ahmed Ubandoma
The wife of Nigerian President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, has urged world leaders to make concerted effort to address the spread of Tuberculosis across the globe.
Mrs Buhari made the call in a speech which she delivered on the margins of the 71st United Nations General Assembly currently underway in New York City.
A statement issued by the Director of Media to the Wife of the President, Zakari Yau Nadabo, in Abuja on Tuesday stated that
Mrs Buhari made the call under the auspices of “Stop TB Partnership”, a world renowned Tuberculosis (TB) advocacy group for the eradication of the deadly disease of which the president’s wife championed same cause in Nigeria.
She enjoined Heads of State around the world to include Tuberculosis as part of the challenges confronting the global community as they come together this week to discuss the world’s most pressing political and development challenges.
The president’s wife expressed happiness that the disease, through the intervention of the Stop TB Partnership, was beginning to receive more deserving label.
She added that “tuberculosis is no longer viewed as inescapable bacteria that must be controlled, but a global emergency that demands political response at the highest levels.”
She said that the world was too interconnected to treat a deadly infectious disease such as TB in isolation or as a regional disease.
“The rise of infectious disease like TB poses challenges far beyond the health sector as they can bring down entire economies, spread fear and panic, and impact the very core of society, as shown by the recent Ebola epidemic.
“There are few health challenges that demonstrate the need for partnership more than TB.
“No disease in history has crossed as many borders and inflicted as much damage as TB, where loved ones had been lost either in the U.S.,
Nigeria or anywhere in the world.”
Mrs Buhari commended the leadership of Stop TB Partnership, which brought together governments, parliamentarians, development partners, private sector, and civil society organisations to unite against the disease.
She supported the recent call by a South African minister to convene a UN High-Level meeting on TB in September 2017.
She said that as wife of the President of Nigeria, she was interested in assisting and championing the campaign against the spread of TB.
She pledged to mobilise the wives of governors in Nigeria to support and advance the cause to ending TB. (NAN)