“CRSG Strengthen Fight Against Tuberculosis As KNCV Commences Free Testing And Treatment In The State Using The Wellness On Keke Approach.”
Tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious infection that usually attacks your lungs. It can also spread to other parts of your body like your brain and spine. A type of bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis causes it and signs of active TB disease includes; A cough that lasts more than 3 weeks, Chest pain, Coughing up blood, Feeling tired all the time, Night sweats, Chills, Fever, Loss of appetite, Weight loss amongst others.
In a bid to curtail this disease with Nigeria ranking 1st in Africa and 6th in the World with cases of TB, the Cross River State Government through the Health Ministry and in partnership with KNCV has today commence the free TB testing and treatment through the commissioning of the Wellness on Keke package, an integrated TB screening from the point of care, testing with available treatment alongside Covid-19 vaccination for those who have not yet received. The machines will then be handed over to the State for a continuous follow-up as free testing and treatment took place at the Watt Market to get a wider targeted population.
Speaking during the commissioning, the Country Director of KNCV Dr. Betrand Odume thanked the State Government and the Permanent Secretary of the Health Ministry for their continuous support and partnership since 2015 while assuring the State of more support. “We’re here today to hand over some diagnostic tools through USAID funding to the State and to thank the State for the continuous synergy and collaboration for over 7years today. Earlier before now, we provided the Wellness on Wheels truck and we realized that it was cost intensive and limited to getting to hard to reach areas which has today led to us bringing the Wellness on Keke innovation an idea that will help take this diagnosis to the hinterlands.
“This one is quite portable with an on the spot team to carry-out testing and treatment via X-RAY. The State will get 2 units of the Keke as our aim is to see how tuberculosis can be eradicated completely. I therefore charge the State to continue with the process as we look at the Keke being stationed in hard to reach areas attached with Covid-19 vaccination mobile team. Other diseases like diabetes, hypertension, etc will be screened and free drugs offered to enable us breach the gap.
Receiving the equipments, the Permanent Secretary of the Health Ministry Obol Dr. Iwara Iwara expressed his happiness for the huge support accorded the State by KNCV stating that the Wellness on Keke that is housing other digital equipments like the X-ray and diagnostic machines will give the State a wider coverage in terms of TB testing and treatment and it will make a very huge and positive impact on the people especially those residing in the hard to reach areas of the State.
“On behalf of the State Governor Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade (CON), we humbly wish to thank our wonderful partners KNCV for this huge support not forgetting the Wellness on Wheels truck donated to us early last year. This innovation is good and will extend this services to the hard to reach areas of the State and the coverage will be positive. Let me reassure you that with this innovation our people will be more informed/sensitized on the importance of carrying out this test. We will as State compliment on the services you have rendered and CRSG remains grateful for this huge support as I take this opportunity to call on other partners to emulate same.”
In a vote of thanks from Dr. Offor the State TB Manager and also the Director of Public Health after huge appreciation from the Director of Medical and Dental Services Dr. Essien Itam, Director of Nursing Dr. Pauline Obute and the Director of Laboratory Mrs. Magdalene Nkang, he thanked the leadership of KNCV for the wellness on Keke innovation while tracing antecedents to their first support with the wellneyss on Wheels truck donated by them early last year all in the fight against Tuberculosis with the State ranking the best and well performed in the affairs of tuberculosis Country.
“We are not ignorant of your outstanding support and tremendous efforts when it comes to the fight against Tuberculosis in CRS, Wellness on Wheels truck before now was able to cover the entire 18LGAs of the State with a big challenge of reaching out to the hard to reach areas. But with this innovation using Keke, there’s going to be a very high notification in the State with over 1,500 cases being attended to every 3months as the above number is not even close to what we’re looking at which means there’s more work to be done and we can assure you that this numbers will increase especially with this support.
“We thank KNCV for this introduction as this will help take us to those hard to reach areas of the state. The Covid-19 vaccination will be done simultaneously as well as tests and treatment for other diseases like hypertension, diabetes, etc and all of this services remains free of charge. As a state and as a ministry we can’t thank you enough as we solicit that this continues for the growth and development of our dear State and Cross Riverians at large.”
Highlights of the event was the official launching of the Wellness on Keke and the formal handing over of the equipments to the State Ministry of Health, free testing for everyone and treatment as well as sensitization exercise at Watt Market, Calabar.