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World Tuberculosis Day: NGO Organizes Medical Outreach for Local Residents In Kaduna

"Proper diagnosis is needed to enable the medical personnel have the right information in order to prevent, treat, and eradicate tuberculosis from our society." Sis Ekwoanya, Head of Section, Health HVCF.

In its continued efforts at providing quality and sustainable medical outreach to communities in rural areas as part of its mission statement, the Hope for Village Child Foundation; a non-profit organization based in Kaduna state, on Monday organized a One-Day awareness and sensitization programme on Tuberculosis; its treatment and possible cure for residents of Maraban Rido, a rural community on the outskirts of the state in Chukun Local Government Council.

The one-day event which was part of the global day set aside as World Tuberculosis Day, witnessed a massive turnout of the residents of the community having recognized the deep concerns displayed by the Hope for the Village Child Foundation that has established a strong and well bonded relationship with the people in the rural communities especially with medical outreaches, educational sponsorship and trainings for the rural dwellers.

 Sister Juliana Ekwoanya
Dep. Director HVCF & Head of Section, Health

As part of the One-day awareness and sensitization on Tuberculosis, there was also free tests and treatment for persons with symptoms of having the disease.

Speaking with the Deputy Director of the Hope for the Village Child Foundation, HVCF, and Head of Section, Health, Sister Juliana Ekwoanya, she disclosed that in most instances, the Foundation has had to train rural dwellers on what should be done especially when it involves transmission.

According to Sister Ekwoanya, proper diagnosis is needed to enable the medical personnel have the right information in order to prevent, treat, and eradicate tuberculosis from our society. As it is commonly stated, “knowledge is power”. What one has knowledge already about no longer becomes a threat. Once a person becomes infected or contacts tuberculosis, he or she will know what to do, with the knowledge acquired so as to prevent its spread.

Dokaci Maraban Rido

Reacting to queries as to cure and possibly, the total eradication from the society, she said; “there is a lot of ignorance in the society. There is cure for tuberculosis. Many simply regard cough as cough. That is completely wrong as there are several types of cough. In the case of tuberculosis, infected persons do not know that there is the need to prevent its spread as there are accompanying symptoms of tuberculosis such as night sweating and in some very glaring instances, weight loss. There is the need for sensitization and advocacy.”

“We are providing the needed awareness and advocacy and with our partners in the media, we believe that we will cover more grounds. People have to understand that it goes beyond mere lip service. At the Hope for Village Child Foundation, we remain very committed to assisting government at all tiers succeed in providing medical outreaches to people in the rural communities who have no access to proper healthcare, within our limited capabilities.

“People should, as much as possible, go to the proper facilities where they can be given medical checks whenever they experience such symptoms. In the rural communities, a lot of people have local beliefs that influence their ways of thinking. This is one of the reasons that make us undertake awareness and sensitization drive to communities.

“We strong believe that with the proper advocacy, our mission will gain more grounds. These we have been doing over the years. We are working assiduously to work on the mindset of these rural dwellers in order to gain their confidence that there is indeed cure for tuberculosis; not in the tradition way but through orthodox means. Some actually commence treatment but along the line, deviate. This is a huge setback, medically, for such persons. Such persons who discontinue treatment do not the implications of such actions. In such situations, we deploy our facilitators to involve the District Heads and religious leaders who talk to them. The truth is that these persons already affected or that discontinued their treatment do not know the dangers they pose to people around them.

Tasked on how infected victims can be identified, the HVCF Director disclosed that identification of victims no longer lies solely with persons coughing out blood. Affected persons cough out the sputum. It is very imperative to understand that there are other health related conditions that necessitate a victim coughing out blood. That is why there is the need for proper diagnosis. It is just the simple way out for all. This is why we insist on conducting the tests for people as that will further guide the treatment of any infected person.  

At the venue of the one-day event, testimonies of persons who had been infected and had first hand experience of the disease. They encouraged others to turn up at identified and approved health centres for treatment stating that the treatment itself is free. They enjoined persons with relations suffering from Tuberculosis to visit the Hope for the Village Child Foundation where experts are on ground to provide treatment and education. 

One of the persons who testified to her recovery from Tuberculosis, said it requires dedication and commitment to adhering to medical advise and also, taking her treatment and drugs regularly. 

"Hope for the Village Child Foundation is indeed a partner of progress. We, the people in rural areas that government ignored, will continue to pray for the management of the foundation and also, appeal to them not to get discouraged," she said.         

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