Health Minister Advocates TB Screening As Pre-Employment Test
The Minister of Health prof. Isaac Adewole has recommended Tuberculosis (TB) screening as pre- medical test to newly employed public servants in both Federal and State Governments level and newly admitted students into Secondary and Tertiary Institutions in the country.
This is part of the strategy to achieve one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets, “to bring an end to the scourge of TB by 2030”.
Adewole said that to achieve this, government must utilize all opportunities to screen, detect, and treat TB timely in order to interrupt the transmission of the disease.
The Minister made the recommendation in Kano, while chairing the 61st National Council on Health Meeting.
He said 2017 and beyond have been declared the years of accelerating TB case finding in Nigeria.
“I wish to advocate that mandatory TB screening be offered to both those who seek health care with or without symptoms/signs compatible with TB and those who do not”
He further directed that all Health Care workers should as a routine conduct symptomatic TB screening at all Out Patient Departments (OPDs) in all health facilities especially at secondary and tertiary health facilities to ensure prompt diagnosis of TB and eventual treatment of the positive TB cases.
“Mandatory TB screening should be part of pre-employment medical tests for the following:Newly employed staff in all Ministries, Departments & Agencies at all levels (Federal, state and LGA); and newly admitted students into Secondary and all Tertiary institutions in the country. This will enable prompt detection and treatment of TB in Nigeria” , the Minister said.
“It is also necessary to inform Council that in order to further ensure that TB cases are detected among children and their care givers; I have approved the inclusion of TB response strategies in activities to be addressed under the saving One Million Lives Programme for Result (SOML PforR).” Adewole said.
He called on all Commissioners of Health to ensure compliance in their respective states.
The Minister said the screening and detection of TB patients would give government opportunity to offer free treatment to the patients.