DECLARE STATE OF EMERGENCY ON TUBERCULOSIS IN NIGERIA — Nigerian Pilot News
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DECLARE STATE OF EMERGENCY ON TUBERCULOSIS IN NIGERIA

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WHO targets 1billion people for UHC

There is an urgent need by the nation’s health mangers to consider a declaration of a state of emergency in the sector in order to quickly tame the ravages of Tuberculosis otherwise simply known as TB in the country. This preventable disease has become one of the deadly killers of Nigerians joining the list of insurgency in the North-east, ethno-religious and communal conflicts, HIV/AIDS, road accidents, maternal and infant mortality, cancer, etc.

The recent reports on the spread and effects of tuberculosis on Nigerians are so upsetting that every well-meaning Nigerian ought to rise up for action. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 432 Nigerians, on a daily basis, die of tuberculosis (TB), meaning that every hour, 18 patients are killed by the disease. The situation is so bad in this country that Nigeria ranks 7th among the 30 high TB burden countries in the world and 2nd in Africa. Worst still, the matter is more complicated than that as there are still more undetected figures.

Health experts revealed that what makes Nigeria’s matter abysmal is the fact that the number of undetected victims is by far more than the detected figure. According to the Board Chairman, Stop TB Partnership Nigeria, Professor Lovett Lawson, 75 per cent of Nigerians with TB were yet to be diagnosed or receive any form of treatment. He stated this at a pre-World TB Media briefing in Abuja.

Professor Lawson lamented that, “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.” That is why the theme of this year’s anniversary is apt: “It’s time!” and the slogan is “To end TB in Nigeria (keep the promise! Find TB! Treat TB).

In addition to the above concerns raised by Professor Lawson, the National Coordinator of the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Adebola Lawanson, also raised another critical issue that border on resistance to drugs by TB.

Nigeria is said to contribute 9% victims to the global 3.6million missing TB cases after India and Indonesia with 26% and 11% respectively. Report also indicated that, an estimated 418, 000 new TB cases occurs in Nigeria in 2018. Already, the country had been notified that 104, 904 ( 25%) and 106, 533 cases of TB in 2017 and 2018 respectively are giving a gap of 314, 712 and 319, 599 cases yet to be notified respectively.

As the World TB day commences from next week with a theme “It’s time!” and slogan “To end TB in Nigeria (keep the promise! Find TB!), we join all relevant stakeholders in raising this grave concern and urging authorities to declare a state of emergency on TB’s wild spread and fast killing rate. This has been largely attributed to lack of awareness about TB, especially in the rural areas and the associated social stigma. We believe that a state of emergency will give this major health crisis the needed attention it in fact deserves so as to stop the daily silent mass killings of our citizens.

QUOTE

The recent reports on the spread and effects of tuberculosis on Nigerians are so upsetting that every well-meaning Nigerian ought to rise up for action. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 432 Nigerians, on a daily basis, die of tuberculosis (TB), meaning that every hour, 18 patients are killed by the disease. The situation is so bad in this country that Nigeria ranks 7th among the 30 high TB burden countries in the world and 2nd in Africa. Worst still, the matter is more complicated than that as there are still more undetected figures

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