Tuberculosis kills 1,869 in Kwara, 7,496 cases recorded in Enugu, Borno

Kwara State has revealed that tuberculosis killed 1,869 lives in 2023 and assured that there are ongoing efforts aimed at its total eradication.

This was disclosed by the Kwara State Commissioner for Health, Dr Amina El-Imam, on Monday, while delivering a speech during the 2024 World Tuberculosis Day with the theme ‘Yes! We Can End TB’.

The World Health Organisation, described tuberculosis as an infectious disease usually caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

The WHO noted that it generally affects the lungs called pulmonary tuberculosis and can also affect other parts of the body – extrapulmonary tuberculosis.

It, however, noted that some of the infections remain as latent tuberculosis with no symptoms, while about 10 per cent of the latent infection progresses to active disease and can kill if left untreated.

The Kwara commissioner said, “It is only when all active cases are treated that we can break the chain of transmission of Tuberculosis.

“The Kwara State Ministry of Health remains committed to finding cases of tuberculosis wherever they may be.

“We are intensifying community sensitisation and active case search using our well-established structures of community informants, surveillance officers, and community TB/HIV workers.”

Meanwhile, the wife of the governor, Professor Olufolake Abdulrazaq, represented by the Director-General of Ajike People’s Support Centre, Alhaji Ganiyu Opeloyeru, reiterated the government’s commitment to eliminating tuberculosis and promoting a healthy Kwara State.

Also, the Enugu State Commissioner for Health, Prof Ikechukwu Obi, said the state recorded a total of 2,496 confirmed cases of Tuberculosis in 2022.

Obi, who disclosed this at a press conference to mark the 2024 World Tuberculosis Day in the state, revealed that data for 2023 was still being collated, appealing to residents with persistent coughs to go to any nearby healthcare facility for screen and treatment.

While noting that treatment of tuberculosis was completely free, the health commissioner said that the state was providing TB services in 597 health facilities across the state.

Obi said, “Nigeria is 1st in Africa and 6th in the world among countries with highest TB burden. In 2022, an estimated 10.6 million people developed active TB globally.”

Similarly in 2023  the Borno State Government, according to the state’s Commissioner of Health, Prof Baba Malam-Gana, identified 5,000 cases of tuberculosis.

Speaking in Maiduguri, on Monday, at the 2024 World Tuberculosis Day, Malam-Gana said more than 10,000 suspected cases were being traced across the state.

Over the recent years, The PUNCH could reliably report that there has been an upsurge in TB cases in Borno State due to the protracted Boko Haram conflict and malnutrition.

Consequently, the Borno state government upscaled the detection of TB cases across the 27 LGAs of the state with a view to eradicating the scourge.

“Last year (2023) we were not able to capture the expected 16,000 people with suspected TB cases; instead we only zoomed on 5,000 on average because of insurgency and displacement,” the commissioner said.

He said with the restoration of peace in most parts of the state, TB services will be provided in all the local government areas.

In the same vein the Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Dr Tomi Coker, on Monday, expressed concern over the increase in tuberculosis cases in the state.

The commissioner, while fielding questions from journalists on the 2024 World Tuberculosis Day,  said, “Government with the support from the Federal Ministry of Health and partners have been providing free treatment for TB patients in all 20 local government areas through the network of 623 government health centres as well as selected private and missionary facilities.”

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