BY ISAIAH BENJAMIN, Kaduna
Nigeria has been ranked 1st in Africa and 6th globally among the high Tuberculosis (TB) burden countries, and on the list of 14 countries with tripple-burden of TB, HIV associated TB and multi-drug resistance TB (MDR-TB).
Mrs Itohowo Uko of the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme (NTBLCP) of the Federal Minsitry of Health made the disclosure in her presentation on TB situation in Nigeria, during a virtual media orientation programme on TB, which held simultaneously in seven states on Tuesday.
She also disclosed that 69 per cent of TB patients in the countries that are not treated and/or notified in case of untreated pulmonary TB can infect 10 to 15 persons per year.
“Estimates from WHO global report 2020 suggest that TB kills 18 Nigerians every hour, 47 Nigerians develop active TB every hour (seven of which are children).
“Based on 2020 WHO Global TB report, Nigeria is ranked 1st in Africa and 6th globally among the 30 high TB burden countries, Nigeria is also on the list of 14 countries with the triple-burden of TB, HIV associated TB and drug-resistant TB,” she said.
Speaking further, she explained that only 31% (138.573 TB cases) of existing patients were notified to the authorities in 2020 National Harmonisation Data, 2020).
She identified cough, loss of weight, night sweats and low fever as symptoms of TB.
Mrs Uko, however, noted that diagnosis and treatment of TB are available free of charge in all DOTs and DR-TB treatment centres nationwide.
She said: “TB is curable and the patient is not infectious after few weeks on treatment. TB is completely curable if detected and treated early,” while advocating the need for an increased early TB case finding, notification and treatment.
The seven states of minimum of 28 participants largely made up of the media per State include Kaduna, Kogi, Anambra, Borno, Yobe, Jigawa and the FCT Abuja.