From Sola Ojo, Kaduna
As the world commemorates this year’s World Tuberculosis Day with the theme, “Time is Ticking”, Dauda Fearon Memorial Foundation has taken the campaign to Calvary Schools, Narayi, Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State to imbue the best preventive and management practices in the school children.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), TB is one of the top 10 causes of death and the leading cause of a single infectious agent (above HIV/AIDS). In 2019, an estimated 10 million people fell ill with tuberculosis (TB) worldwide. 5.6 million men, 3.2 million women and 1.2 million children. TB is present in all countries and age groups.
In an interview with newsmen shortly after engaging the students on the subject matter, a Medical Doctor with Barau Dikko Hospital, Kaduna, Godwin Yohana Abrak, said it became necessary to carry the school children along as agents of change.
‘As we mark tuberculosis day this year, it is important to let people especially school children know what the disease is, how to prevent the infection from the spread and the need for holistic prevention.
‘Treatment of tuberculosis takes months with its side effect based on the individual. So, awareness of prevention is better and cheaper and as we know, secondary school students are highly socialised in the classroom, in assembly and even during sporting activities.
‘Tuberculosis is associated with cough, fever and loss of weight. So, the moment an infected person cough at his neighbour, it can be easily transmitted and that is why we need to use a face mask and rest just to have the immunity built. This is a good target because they will also take the message back to their respective homes,’ he noted.
The Proprietress, Calvary Schools, Narayi, Kaduna, Mrs Esther Makama, appreciated the Foundation for taking the campaign to her school just as she believed her students have learnt a lot about tuberculosis.
‘I knew the children have learnt enough especially in the area of the prevention of tuberculosis and COVID-19,’ she said.
Earlier, Secretary, Dauda Fearon Memorial Foundation, Maria Fearon, said: ‘Coming to a secondary school to create awareness about tuberculosis is very important because the World concentrates more on COVID-19 for now while killer diseases like tuberculosis are still killing people.
‘So, the Foundation felt it will be good for people to know that other ailments can make them more susceptible to COVID-19 and tuberculosis is one of them and it affects immunity. There is a need for people to know they need to keep themselves safe. We have people who have tuberculosis and they need to stay away from COVID-19,’ she said.
She hinted that ‘the Foundation came to be as a result of the desire to keep the memory of our son and brother, Dauda Fearon, a medical student who died during a brief illness of meningitis. So, we are doing this to fulfil his dream of becoming a doctor and treat people to save lives. We are here to raise more Dauda Fearon who will be doctors to take care of people.’