“HOW I WAS SAVED FROM TUBERCULOSIS IN TAFAWA BALEWA TOWN, BAUCHI” – Commercial Driver
He learnt about Chongsommidah Support Group (CSG), a Community-Based Organisation (CBO) near the black hills of Tafawa Balewa town that has been creating awareness about Tuberculosis (TB) and encouraging people who had similar symptoms to get tested.
Chongsommidah Support Group is one of the 87 CBOs recruited and trained by the Association for Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH) for its Active Case Finding (ACF) project, a strategic approach for increasing TB case detection which is being funded by the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. ARFH commenced the project in February 2016.
“After they collected my sputum sample, they called me after two days, counseled me and told me I had TB”, Zakari said.
“They took me to the Tafawa Balewa General Hospital where I was given drugs for free, every week, for six months, and now, I am completely cured according to the last TB test I did”.
ARFH is a principal Recipient of the Global Fund grant to fight TB in Nigeria while the Civil Society for the Eradication of Tuberculosis in Nigeria (TB Network) is a sub recipient supervising CBOs in 11 states in Northern Nigeria, out of 20 priority states where the project is being implemented. The project recruited 870 Community Tuberculosis Workers (CTWs), 10 per CBO, to conduct house-to-house visits, in search of TB cases in slums.
Zamani Obadiah, Executive director of Chongsommidah said: “From April 2016 when we started to December 2016, we fetched out 40 TB cases, and from January to June 2017, we fetched out 22 TB cases in the 23 slums where we work in the Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area (LGA).”
Dr Adewale Osho, Programme Manager, TB Project, ARFH, confirmed the cases fetched out by CSG from the Local Government Tuberculosis and Leprosy Supervisor of Tafawa Balewa LGA, Bauchi State.
“It is not our wish to be affected by TB, and since they (Global Fund, ARFH, TB Network and Chongsommidah) took care of us, I want to say thank you, and may God bless them”.
ACF is being conducted in 4 LGAs in Bauchi State, Nigeria. According to Dr Yakubu Gida Abdullahi, Bauchi State Tuberculosis, Buruli-ulcer and Leprosy Control Officer: “in 2015, the total TB cases notified in those 4 LGAs were 785, but by 2016 when we started the ACF, by the end of that year, the cases notified were 1,071”.
“That gives us a difference of 286 cases, and that is almost 36.4% increase, and that could be attributed to the active case search in those LGAs”, he said.