TB transmission, Symptoms Rise In Nigeria With 157,000 Deaths
The Director, National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control (NTLC) programme, Mrs. Idara Uko has said that 157,000 people are estimated to have died from tuberculosis, as transmission and symptoms continue to rise.
Uko raised the alarm Tuesday at a media training for States’ health correspondents and reporters on tuberculosis (TB) at the Emergency Operational Centre, Maiduguri.
According to her, TB is an airborne infectious disease caused by the germ; mycobacterium that affects the lungs and other parts of the body.
“TB is also one of the top 10 causes of death globally,” she said, adding that according to the WHO report of 2020, Nigeria is rated first in Africa and 6th globally among the 30 high-burden countries.
While lamenting TB rise in transmission, Uko said: “Nigeria is also on the list of 14 countries with the triple burden of TB, HIV associated TB and multiple resistant drugs.”
She noted that Nigeria has been rated among the 14 countries with a high burden of TB.
According to her, only 31% or 138,573 TB cases of existing patients were recorded in 2020 by the National Harmonization Data.
She said there are 69% of TB patients in communities across the country that are either not treated or notified to authorities.
“A case of untreated pulmonary TB can infect a maximum of15 persons a year,” she warned.
While reviewing the World Health Organization (WHO) global report for 2020, she said that TB kills a Nigerian every hour, while 47 people develop active TB every hour, including seven children.
She warned that; “the Knowledge of TB transmission, symptoms and prevention is still low,” as its symptoms comprise coughing for two weeks with loss of weight and night sweats and low fever
According to her, even though TB is spread through the air, persistent cough for two weeks or more could be the contraction of the disease.
She therefore urged the people for diagnosis and treatment, as they are free of charge in all DOTS and DR-TB treatment centres.
She declared that TB is completely curable if detected and treated early by calling a toll-free line of 3340.