Nigeria ranks fourth in Tuberculosis burden, says minister
The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, yesterday disclosed that Nigeria has the fourth burden of tuberculosis in the world and first in Africa, stressing that the country records 600,000 cases of the disease yearly.
According to the minister, Nigeria also has the worst cases of tuberculosis in the continent with five of its six cases undetected.Adewole, who spoke while flagging off a free mobile testing and treatment of the disease in Abeokuta, the State capital, said that the five undetected cases portends danger to the society.
The initiative, tagged, ‘Wellness on Wheel’ was put together by the Federal and the State government with support from the United State Agency International Development (USAID).
The minister said, “what is particularly worrisome is that Nigeria has scored the least in the world in terms of being able to pick TB cases.”The danger is that TB is infective and the five out of six cases undetected will infect other people and therefore our mandate is to increase case detection, so that the five missing cases will be detected and treated, hence, this unique initiative called ‘Wellness on Wheel’.”
“With this innovative idea, we can diagnose TB within a very short time, at most, two hours, we can do x-ray using this vehicle, we can also detect TB cases using generic test, we will also know if the case is drug resistance type or non drug resistance type,” the Minister said.
Governor Ibikunle Amosun who was later adopted as TB Champion in the country, in his speech, said the initiative would further help data gathering in the State.
Amosun assured that the vehicle, equipped with modern facilities to detect the disease would be properly maintained, adding that the vehicle would move from one community to the other.