Nige­ria Ranks Fourth In Tu­ber­cu­lo­sis Bur­den, Says Min­is­ter

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - NEWS - From Charles Coffie Gyamfi, Abeokuta

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 cas- es 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.

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