Programme manager of the Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme in Rivers State, Dr. Victor Oris-Onyiri, yesterday, said 166 people died from tuberculosis in the state.
He asserted that the disease has killed more Nigerians than the (Covid-19) pandemic.
Oris-Onyiri, who made the revelation while speaking on a live radio programme monitored in Port Harcourt, said while COVID-19 has killed less than 3,000 in the country, tuberculosis has killed more than that number.
He said, “Cumulatively, in Nigeria, less than 3,000 have died from Covid-19. So we should care about what is killing our people more.
“I am not saying we should care about Covid-19 disease. Yes, we should, but we should also care about TB even much more.”
The official said about 166 persons are reported dead from tuberculosis in the state while over 200 people die every year from the disease.
Oris-Onyiri said, “Males are more affected than females and most affected are those within the productive age, which are the young people. So, if we have our productive age being killed by diseases, you can imagine the economic impact it will have in our society.
“166 people have been killed by tuberculosis in Rivers State and the victims are between the ages of 18 and 40. A man will be sick and coughing but he doesn’t want to go to the hospital. He waits for it to get too bad before he approached health facilities.
“During the peak of Covid-19 last year, we had a reduction in case-finding because there was locƙ down and people couldn’t access services. So, it cost a reduction in case-finding.
“It is expected that we will find more cases now because people have started to access services within the health facilities and in the communities, I am sure they will start coming out.
“We want to tell our people that TB is killing more people than Covid-19. In Rivers State alone, over 200 people die each year,” he said.