Breakthrough ACTION – Nigeria Ends Virtual Media training on TB for Practitioners in Akwa Ibom
BY: VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
Breakthrough Action – Nigeria (BA-N) successfully at the weekend completed a virtual media training on Tuberculosis (TB) for media practitioners in Akwa ibom state.
The training which lasted for over five hours saw the media practitioners brainstormed on TB and Covid-19 related issues with more clearer understanding of the two different diseases.
The objectives of the training, according to the Senior Program Officer 2, Mr. Eze Eze Ogali, includes to enable media practitioners understand the prevalence and control of T in Nigeria, to highlight the similarities and differences between TB and Covid-19 and the stigma around cough
Others are, to build the capacity of participants on human angle story telling using TB in the context of Covid-19, to empower participants to accurately report on TB and generate more positive action following reporting, and to increase high quality shows, stories and write ups in order to address concerns around TB/Covid-19 symptoms amongst others.
Describing TB as burden in Nigeria, and an airborne infectious disease, is one of the too 10 causes of death world wide, as Nigeria is classified among the 14 countries with high burden of TB, noting that “it is estimated that 2 out of 1000 Nigerians will have TB according to (WHO 2017 global report).
TB is spread through the air when the person with TB of the lungs coughs, sneezes, sings or talks. To run the test in most healthcare facilities is free, calling the toll free number 08002255282 can direct you to the closest TB testing centre.
Practitioners were informed that TB is curable and the patient is not infectious after few weeks on treatment, TB is completely curable if detected and treated.
Also, participants were made to understand that Covid-19 pandemic had actually affected on access to TB test through treatment protocol which differs. For Covid-19, it is to stay at home while TB is to go for a cough test.
Also, there were several basic facts to know about TB and Covid-19. TB is spread through a bacteria from person to person through droplet nuclel when a TB patient coughs, talk, sneezes or sings In the case of Covid-19, it is through virus from person to person through droplet particles and through contaminated surfaces.
“TB and Covid-19 ” have similarities in symptoms such as cough, fever and difficulty in breathing.
In another presentation titled “The Role of the Media in TB education in Nigeria, Ogali, said that it is our responsibility to help citizens, through our programs and news report to become informed about TB, especially in this Covid-19 pandemic by providing the facts of the matter so they can use them to make informed decision.
According to him, “individual, social media, community and policy need to know the difference between TB Cough and Covid-19 cough, provide support for anyone who has TB without further escalating the spread, know that TB is not a death sentence and is curable with early detection among others.
Breakthrough ACTION-Nigeria however expressed their appreciation to the media practitioners for their contributions and participation during the virtual training.