The Nigeria Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme has advocated early diagnosis and treatment of Tuberculosis, saying this will help to curtail the disease.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the Director, Head of Advocacy, Tuberculosis Control programme, Mrs Itohowo Uko, made this known at a one-day orientation programme for health journalists in seven states of the country.
She spoke on the topic, ‘TB Situation in Nigeria: Why the Media Needs to Talk About It.’
Uko described TB as an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis that affected mainly the lungs and other parts of the body.
According to her, Tuberculosis is among top 10 causes of death worldwide.
Uko also disclosed that 69 per cent of TB patients in the countries that were not treated and/or notified in case of untreated pulmonary TB could infect 10 to 15 people per year.
“Estimates from WHO global report, 2020 suggest that TB kills 18 Nigerians every hour, 47 Nigerians develop active TB every seven hours of which are children.
“Based on 2020 WHO Global TB report, Nigeria is ranked first in Africa and sixth 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.
Uko added that only 31 per cent of existing patients were notified to the authorities in 2020 National Harmonisation Data.
She identified cough, loss of weight, night sweats, low fever as symptoms of TB, which were already through the air, when the person with TB of the lungs coughs, sneezes, sings or talks.
Uko, however, said diagnosis and treatment of Tuberculosis was available free of charge in all DOTs and DR- TB treatment centres nationwide.
“TB is curable, and the patient is not infectious after few weeks on treatment. TB is completely curable if detected and treated early,’’ she said.
Uko also advocated the need for an increased early TB case finding, notification and treatment.