Stakeholders in the health sector has said that accelerated patient education and public enlightenment is key to stopping the menace of Tuberculosis (TB)
This consensus was reached as various speakers at the National Tuberculosis (TB) Conference stressed on the need to involve all in the health value chain to create awareness and propagate the diagnosis and treatment of TP.
In her presentation at the Conference, themed “Building Stronger Partnerships to End TB in Nigeria”, held on the 17th and 18th of July, 2019 at the Abuja International Conference Centre. Dr. Ogochukwu Ginigeme said “that patients education is key and vital in ending tuberculosis in Nigeria, most patient have little or no knowledge about the administration of TB drugs. It is either they do not finish their medication or they do not take their medications with care. As a result there are cases of re occurring TB with these people”. He also emphasised on implementing care and prevention program on HIV/TB as well as enlightenment.
Prof. Lovett Lawson, Board Chairman, Stop TB Partnership Nigeria in his welcome address noted that tuberculosis (TB) is among Nigeria’s top priorities, and the country is one of 14 countries that are listed in all three of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) global lists of high burden countries for TB, TB/HIV and multi-drug resistant (MDR)-TB. He said that the national TB program has made some incremental progress in the quality of TB treatment and care over the years, but the treatment coverage has remained low at 25% and cases notifications have stagnated over the past five years.
“To reverse this trend and see that Nigeria joins other nations in moving towards the 2035 global TB control targets, “we must join hands in any way we can to create awareness about TB, devise better ways of improving access to care and most importantly bring on board other key stakeholders in addressing the funding gaps” Professor Lovett said
According to the 2017 Global TB Report, Nigeria is among the 14 high burden countries for TB, TB/HIV and Multi Drug Resistant TB. The country is ranked 6th among the 30 high TB burden countries and first in Africa with Lagos having the highest TB burden in Nigeria due to overpopulation. The problem of TB in Nigeria has been made worse by the issues of drug resistant TB and the HIV/AIDS epidemic.