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WHO Rates Nigeria Second Highest In Tuberculosis Case In Africa

TB Bacterial

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared Nigeria the second highest in tuberculosis disease in Africa with a record of no less than 432 Nigerians dying of the disease daily.

WHO said that Nigeria is also 7th among the 30 high TB burden countries in the world, saying that every hour, 47 Nigerians develop active TB, seven of who are children.

The WHO Acting Coordinator of Non Communicable Diseases Cluster, Dr Linda Ozor, who disclosed these today, Monday in Lagos, said that Nigeria is also among the 10 countries that accounted for 64 percent of the global gap in “missing TB cases.”

Quoting the 2017 Global TB Report, Ozor, who spoke on behalf of the WHO Country Rep, Dr Wondimagegnehu Alemu, at the 1st National Summit on Public Private Mix (PPM) for TB Control, said that it is essential to engage the private corporate organizations and private health institutions to commit to take TB control as one of their corporate social responsibilities.

“More worrisome is the fact that every hour, 18 Nigerians die of TB, a disease that is preventable and curable. This is not simply statistics, behind these figures they are humans.

“The disease in Nigeria is further fuelled by the large number of undetected TB cases (missing cases), which serve as pool of reservoir for the continuous transmission of the disease. Each undetected TB case has potential of infecting 10-15 persons in a year.”

She said that only 14 percent of private institutions are collaborating with the National TB Control programme, adding only 1 in five (19 percent) TB cases are being managed at private health facilities.

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Ozor called for more involvement of the private sector in TB control programme even as he said that Nigeria increased its TB detection rate from 17 percent to 24 percent (41 percent increase) and declared 2017 year for accelerated TB case finding.

He pointed out that outstanding challenges are being addressed collectively by stakeholders to get a breakthrough in the fight to end TB.

“Among the challenges are how to find the remaining 300,000 cases which are still missed by the health sector. Of the total 400,000 cases, only 100,000 were reported. In Lagos State, of the 3 expected cases, 2 are missed.”

Among other challenges she harped on were expanding quality TB diagnostic coverage nationwide, both optimisation of the existing gene Xpert diagnostic machine (390 and increasing awareness of the general public.

He confirmed that Lagos State has the highest estimated burden of TB cases in the country, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris said the development is by virtue of the State’s large poplulation, population density and metropolitan nature of Lagos.

“Most of challenges of TB control have to do with funding and these can be resolved. It is in this light the Summit has become so important and timely.”