75% Of Nigerians With Tuberculosis Yet To Be Diagnosed – Health Experts
The Board Chairman, Stop TB partnership Nigeria, Professor Lovett Lawson has expressed worry over 75 per cent of Nigerians with Tuberculosis (TB) that are yet to be diagnosed or receive any form of treatment.
At a pre-World TB Media briefing in Abuja, Professor Lawson, who was represented by US-CDC representative , Dr. Bethrand Odume observed that lack of awareness about TB in the rural areas and the social stigma attached to Tb patient are some of the challenges confronting the eradication of the ailment.
According to him”Despite significant progress made over the last few years, every hour, 18 Nigerians still die of TB; a disease that is preventable and curable.
“It is on this basis that Stop TB partnership Nigeria is working with other partners to complement the efforts of the government to end TB in Nigeria.”
“The theme of this year’s world Tuberclosis day “It’s time!” and slogan “To end TB in Nigeria (keep the promise! Find TB! Treat TB), is apt hence TB has remained a top infectious killer worldwide, claiming over 4,500 lives a day.”
“We also want to use this opportunity to call on the president, Muhammadu Buhari, to accelerate TB response and keep the promise made on TB at the UN meeting in New York last year.”he added.
In a message,the National Coordinator, National Tuberculosis Buruli Ulcer and Leprosy Control Programme, Dr Adebola Lawanson said Nigeria contributes nine per cent to the global 3.6 million missing TB cases.
Dr Lawanson who was represented by the Senior Programme Officer, NTBLCP, Mr. Emperor Ubochioma,observed that the proportion of missing TB cases among children was more worrisome, as the country was only able to notify 7 percent if the estimated childhood TB cases in 2017.
“The country notified 104,904 (25 per cent) and 106,533 cases of TB in 2017 and 2018 respectively giving a gap of 314,712 and 319,599 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 diseases in the community.”
On her part. a TB Advocate, Mrs. Funke Dosumu, who said there was the need to address the issue of stigmatisation stressed the need for more awareness creation for early detection and treatment .