Data, in response to awareness against Tuberculosis, have shown that Lagos State has recorded 4,621 new case notifications in the first quarter of 2023, while five local government areas are hotspots with the most vulnerable cases.
“Alimosho has notified 477 incident cases, Ajeromi -Ifelodun with 367 cases, Ikorodu has 366 incident cases, these three LGAs are at risk due to high population. Additionally, Mushin also recorded 308 incident cases, Ojo with 292 cases and 278 cases in Badagry.
“Lagos State accounts for 11 percent of TB cases in Nigeria with an estimated 54,000 persons projected to be suffering from TB based on the National Incidence Rate of 219 per 100,000 population,” said Olusola Daniel Sokoya, deputy director & programme manager, State Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Buruli Ulcer Control Programme Lagos State Ministry of Health,” the data indicated.
The deputy director & programme manager, of the State Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Buruli Ulcer Control Programme Lagos State Ministry of Health made this known at a one-day Media Training held recently in Lagos, organised by the Institute of Human Virology (IHVN) in collaboration with Breakthrough Action-Nigeria (BA-N).
The media training was aimed at building the capacity of media practitioners and health producers on key concepts in Tuberculosis Awareness and Control so that they can use the knowledge to create content on Tuberculosis.
According to Sokoya, TB remains one of the world’s deadliest infectious killers, and it is the commonest cause of death among persons living with HIV. According to the Global TB Report 2022, about 10.9 million people fell ill due to TB in 2021 and 1.5 million deaths occurred due to TB infection.
Nigeria is ranked 6th among the countries that contribute to the global burden of TB with over 440,000 estimated cases as of 2019. “TB cases from Lagos state captured at the national level of a five-year trend were 9,727; 10,150; 11,723; 13,497; 17, 276 in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 respectively. ”
He said that the Lagos State government has put in place the needed resources to ensure the availability of free TB services in most health facilities in the state including GeneXpert machines.
“The public should avail themselves of the opportunity since undetected cases pose a significant threat to the fight against TB in the country,” he said.
He charged the media to campaign and champion the course to end tuberculosis in Nigeria while calling on other stakeholders to increase investment in the plan for ending TB as a public health challenge.
Joseph Edor, Senior Programme Officer ll TB/RCCE USAID Breakthrough Action-Nigeria explained that Tuberculosis (abbreviated as TB ) is an airborne disease caused by mycobacteria and is spread through the air when people who have the disease cough, sneeze, or spit.
He noted that the commonest type of TB usually attacks the lungs (as pulmonary TB) adding that TB can also affect the central nervous system, the lymphatic system, the circulatory system, the genitourinary system, bones and joints, the spine or any other parts of the body.
Concerned that an untreated case of TB can infect an average of 10 to 15 people in a year, Edor called for the following preventive tips, and strategic interventions, ”avoiding overcrowded areas, maintaining good cough etiquette, avoiding spitting indiscriminately, making sure that eligible contacts especially children must be put on TB preventive treatments TPT.
“Active case search in communities “house-to-house TB case finding and community outreaches. Engagement of the private sector. Active case-finding among vulnerable populations Symptomatic screening of all Outpatient department attendees for TB. Symptomatic screening of children at maternal neonatal child health clinics. Increase access to diagnostic examinations. Contact tracing of TB patients. Massive awareness creation using the media, national TV hotline and community structures.”
On childhood tuberculosis, Babajide Kadiri, Lagos state Team Lead USAID IHVN TB LON 3 Project, said that TB disease in children under 15 years of age is a public health problem of social significance because it represents a recent transmission from an infectious adult.
Kadiri observed that challenges with childhood TB control include, “no childhood TB awareness among the general population, poor health-seeking behaviour, stigma and discrimination, Limited Media engagement in TB awareness creation, low index of suspicion for child TB by health providers, and low funding for childhood TB control.”
Discouraging members of the society against TB stigmatisation and discrimination he said that “once a person with TB is stigmatised, it becomes more difficult for the person to start or continue with care because their fear of being identified as being, or having been infected with TB may hinder their access to other health services.”