How to end tuberculosis before 2030, by PSN
Pharmacists under the aegis of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) have made recommendations on how to end tuberculosis in Nigeria before 2030.
President PSN, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, in a statement ahead of the World Tuberculosis (TB) Day on the March 24, 2019, said the Society is committed towards a TB free world.
The theme of World TB Day (WTD) 2019 was “It’s time to end TB.”
Ohuabunwa said if ending the TB Epidemic by 2030 is one of the health targets of the sustainable development goals, then prevention, diagnosis and early treatment with first line TB drugs should be given all the seriousness it requires.
He added: “TB resistance stems from ignorance, poverty and corruption. Chemotherapy remains the main cure for TB. Non compliance to the adequate regimen and duration may lead to resistance to the first line TB drug such as Rifampicin and Isoniazide. The second line TB drugs are expensive and have undesirable and debilitating side effects.”
Ohuabunwa said the PSN through one of its technical group, the Association of Community Pharmacists is poised to take up the DOT (Directly Observed Therapy) programme and ensure proper pharmaceutical care for patients of TB since chemotherapy remains the main cure. He said: “We wish to assure Nigerians that their Pharmacist could help in simplifying their TB medications to ensure compliance and total cure. The federal government should take the advantage of the availability of community pharmacies within every pole in our county to fully implement the DOT programme, to ensure proper counselling on the TB regimen, and lessen the burden on patients who may need to travel miles to refill a prescription, for the long duration of treatment which may be up to six months.
“The world can end TB faster than 2030 if all members of the health care team and our community do their part.”
Ohuabunwa added: “TB is one of the most killer diseases infecting both young and old. Up to one million children were affected in 2017 and 230,000 deaths recorded. 10 million people were infected with the diseases in 2017 and about 1.6 million died from the disease. It is a leading killer of those living with Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV).”
The PSN President said the TB incidence is falling globally at about two per cent per year but multi drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR – TB) remains a public health crisis and a global health security threat. WHO estimates that there were 558,000 new cases with resistance to Rifampicin – the most effective first line drug.
According to WHO about 54 million lives were save through TB diagnosis and treatment between 2000 and 2017.