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‘Nigeria has third highest TB burden with 574,600 cases’





.22% of patients also have HIV . Low cost test could reduce death rate

From the National Agency for AIDS (NACA) yesterday came the disquieting news that Nigeria has the third highest tuberculosis (TB) burden in the world with 574,600 cases or 338 per 100,000 of the country’s 170 million population. About 22 per cent of the patients also have Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) that causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

In a statement ahead of the World TB Day today, NACA noted: “According to the current national statistics on HIV, an estimated 3.5 million persons are HIV positive, while close to one million are on treatment.

“So far, Nigeria occupies the unenviable global position in terms of the disease burden for both diseases. Nigeria is the second amongst the highest HIV-burdened countries in the world and the third among the highest TB-burdened globally. Added to this burden is the fact that of the number of cases identified with TB, 22 per cent were found to also have HIV as well, thus compounding the existing disease burden.”

Meanwhile, according to a new study published in The Lancet, a low cost, easy to use, urine test to diagnose TB among patients with HIV could help reduce the TB death rate

The World Health Organisation (WHO) lists Nigeria among the 20 countries with the highest absolute burden of disease, the others being Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mozambique, Myanmar, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Russian Federation, South Africa, Thailand, the United Republic of Tanzania, and Viet Nam.

In advance of the World TB Day, the WHO is calling on countries and partners to “Unite to End Tuberculosis.”

According to a statement by the WHO, “the call comes as we enter the era of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Ending tuberculosis (TB) by 2030 is a target of the SDGs and the goal of the WHO End TB Strategy.

“That is an ambitious aim. While there has been significant progress in the fight against TB, with 43 million lives saved since 2000, the battle is only half-won.

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