The World Health Organisation (WHO) has raised the alarm that more than a quarter of the world’s population is at risk of developing tuberculosis during their lifetime.
In its latest Global Tuberculosis Report, the organisation says this is because there is little effort, especially by worse-affected countries such as Nigeria, to prevent the spread of tuberculosis, which it states will potentially affect about 1.3 billion people.
According to NAN, the organisation said 10 countries, including Nigeria, accounted for 3.6 million people undiagnosed or detected, but not reported.
The airborne disease which affects the lungs is one of the global causes of death and an estimated 10 million people developed tuberculosis in 2017 while the number of new cases is falling by two per cent annually.
The report “called for an unprecedented mobilisation of national and international commitments, and urged political leaders to “take decisive action, building on recent moves by the leaders of India, the Russian Federation, Rwanda and South Africa”.
According to Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, “We have never seen such high-level political attention and understanding of what the world needs to do to end TB and drug-resistant TB.
“We must capitalise on this new momentum and act together to end this terrible disease.
“It is unacceptable that millions lose their lives, and many more suffer daily from this preventable and curable disease.
“We need to join forces to root out this disease that has a devastating social and economic impact on those who are ‘left behind’, whose human rights and dignity are limited, and those who struggle to access care. The time for action is now."