COVID-19: Stakeholders Express Fear Over Neglect Of TB Prevention, Control
As the Federal Government Continues to give more attention to the control of COVID19 pandemic control ,stakeholders in TB control at the second Virtual Tuberculosis Media Round Table, in Abuja have expressed fear over increasing number of Tuberculosis in the country.
In an opening remark, the Director, Head of Advocacy, and Social Mobilization of the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme, Mrs Itohowo Uko lamented that 74% of TB cases were yet to be detected.
She observed that some Nigerians preferred Herbal Medicine cure, than being tested even when they have the symptoms of TB, this according to her was one of the major causes of TB Drug resistance.
‘At least 74% of the estimated TB cases in Nigeria were not reported to the National TB Program (NTP); this will affect prevention and control of TB.”
” People still end up using traditional alternative in treating Tuberculosis. Many Nigerians still believe that TB is not real, and hence do not take the necessary measures”.
The Board Chairman, Stop TB Partnership Nigeria, Dr. Ayodele Awe said it was worrisome that despite the fact that Nigeria had the highest tuberculosis burden in Africa, knowledge about Tuberculosis was still at very low level in the country,
“Public information and general health worker information is still very low. We did a survey some years back to know the level of information the public and health workers have about TB.”
“Surprisingly, we found that only 27 percent know the cause of TB. Some said it’s witchcraft. If people don’t have correct information about TB, they will report late when the TB is severe.”he added.
On his part, the Deputy Director, Health Orientation and Communication, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Dr Ayoola Olufemi ,called for more awareness and funding for tuberculosis prevention and control in the country.
“We need to look at the strategy that was used for COVID-19 which is emergency risk communications. We need to build effective communications and utilize multiple channels to pass message across to people”. he said.