A leading technical agency in the international fight against Tuberculosis (TB), KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation (KNCV) has predicted that more TB related deaths will be recorded across the world between 2020 and end of 2021 due to the great and obvious disruption in TB intervention programmes as a result of COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.
Same prediction was also made recently by managers of Malaria, Hepatitis and other epidemics in Nigeria and beyond, lamenting that COVID-19 pandemic has not only altered plans and programmes of action, but has also taken away the funds and attention of global leaders.
The new Executive Director of KNCV, Dr. Mustapha Gidado, at his maiden press conference, raised the consciousness of the world leaders and international donor agencies to dangers of disregarding or lowering the funds appropriated to the fight against other ailments that could consume the world, suggesting that total attention should not be given to COVID-19, leaving others to suffer.
He observed that there’s worsening performance in TB related programmes across the world, with scary prediction that achievements made in the last five years may have been eroded because of the obvious disruption in TB programnes.
Nevertheless, Dr. Gidado, who is the first non-Dutch professional to man the position of the KNCV Executive Director, disclosed that a “Catch Up” TB programme has been designed in collaboration with other stakeholders to ensure a possible recovery of what must have been lost due to COVID-19.
He challenged men to be more conscious of their health and lifestyle, as available data indicated that chances of men getting TB is twice higher than that of women, simply because some women get medical care and attention more than men.
He, however, advocated a stronger health care system in the world, particularly in developing countries, insisting that the fight against TB will be an unrealistic hope if the health care system is weak.
Dr. Gidado was optimistic that his recent appointment as KNCV Executive Director will go a long way in strengthening the resolve to see a TB free world in all partner countries.
He said: “Nigeria presently ranks 6th in countries with TB and will not be left behind especially in areas of innovative approaches to TB prevention and care including finding new cases.
“I have always worked in TB control for decades now. As a medical doctor, I have had first hand experience of patients including children die unnecessarily because they did not receive the correct TB treatment or because TB was discovered too late. That was what motivated me for this work. We are obliged to prevent this from continuing. So, I am honored and feel humble to be leading this organization in its mission of a world free of TB.”
Chairman, KNCV Board of Trustees, Mirella Visser, in reaction to the appointment, said, “Mustapha Gidado is widely recognized as TB expert with a strong network and connections in TB and in the public health world.
“Gidado is an inspirational leader. The Board of Trustees is confident that he has the leadership skills to move forward with KNCV’s strategy and further strengthen KNCV’s excellent reputation as a leading technical
agency in the international fight against TB.
We look forward to continue working together with him as Executive Director on