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By toyboy07 • 14th Mar 2019 • 25 views • 3 comments

As part of its bold step in finding missing Tuberculosis (TB) cases,

the National Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Buruli-Ulcer Control

Programme (NTBLCP) of the Federal Ministry of Health is rapidly

expanding TB diagnostics and treatment services to move sites

across the country.

The NTBLCP National Coordinator, Dr. A. Lawanson who made this

known in the pre–world tuberculosis day press briefing on Thursday

in Abuja, in collaboration with the Stop TB Partnership, said: “OPD

screening for TB has been instituted and is currently being scaled up

to include all health facilities in the country.”

Dr. Lawanson who was represented by Dr. Emperor Ubochioma, said

that: “Nigeria is classified among countries with high burden for TB,

TB/HIV and MDR-TB and currently ranked 6th globally and 1st in

Africa.

‘The country contributes 9% to the global 3.6 million missing TB

cases after India and Indonesia with 26% and 11% respectively.

“An estimated 418,000 new TB uses cases in Nigeria in 2018 and the

country notified and l06,533 cases of TB in 2017 and

2018 respectively giving a gap of 314,712 and 3l9,599 cases yet to

be notified respectively.

“This implies that a large number of TB cases are still undetected/

missing thereby constituting a pool for continuous transmission of

the disease in the community.

“The missing TB cases in Nigeria can be found among men, women

and children with different forms of TB, including drug resistant TB.

“The proportion of missing TB cases among children is more

worrisome, as the country was only able to notify 7% of the

estimated childhood TB cases in 2017.”

She however said that the major challenge is low case detection and

low levels of awareness among the populace.

The NTBLCP boss also added that, “TB diagnosis is also a challenge

as Xpert MTB/RIF assay, which is the first line test for the diagnosis

of TB in the country, has a coverage of 41%, that is, 394 machines in

315 LGAs out of 774 LGAs in Nigeria.”

Prof. Lovett Lawson, who is the Board Chair of Stop TB Partnership

Nigeria, said: “TB remains the world’s deadliest infectious killer. And

Nigeria is among the 30 high burden countries for TB, TB/HIV and

MDR-TB.

“Nigeria is ranked 6th among the 30 high TB burden countries in the

world and 1st in Africa. Nigeria also accounts for 8% of the global

gap between TB incidence and notified cases.

“Unfortunately, despite significant progress made over the last few

years, every hour, eighteen (18) Nigerians still die of TB; a disease

that is preventable and curable.

“To accelerate the TB response in countries to reach targets –

Heads of States including His Excellency, President Muhammadu

Buhari, came together and made strong commitments to end TB at

the first-ever UN High Level Meeting in September 2018 in New

York.”

He explained that the World TB Day 2019, which will hold on the 24th

of March, is a continuation of joint efforts to keep TB high on the

global and national agenda.

The theme of this year World TB Day – ‘IT’S TIME’ (Adapted in

Nigeria as “It’s time to end TB in Nigeria” – puts the accent on the

urgency to act on the commitments made by global leaders at the

UNHLM in New York, to: scale up access to prevention and

treatment; build accountability; ensure sufficient and sustainable

financing including for research; promote an end to stigma and

discrimination, and promote an equitable, rights-based and people-

centered TB response.

According to Dr Odume Bethrand, the Senior Programme Specialist –

TB/HIV of the United States Centre for Disease Control (CDC), “We

are looking at the funding gap which is about 24%, about N35bn as

at last year. Talking about TB case detection case in the country, we

can’t reach out there if there are no resources to support the

infrastructure, human resources, and other innovation approaches in

detecting TB cases, and even support for the patient.

“We agreed that it should be a multi-stakeholder approach;

3 Replies | Last update 14th Mar 2019 | Last comment

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