As part of measures to contain the spread of tuberculosis, the Delta State Government has provided 81 centres for the diagnosis of tuberculosis and treatment in over 200 government established Directly Observed Treatment, Short-course (DOTS) Centres across the state.
This was made known over the weekend by the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Nicholas Azinge in a statewide broadcast in Asaba to mark this year’s World Tuberculosis Day with the theme ‘Unite to end Tuberculosis.’
According to the commissioner, “As we mark the World Tuberculosis Day, today, let us “Unite to End Tuberculosis” in our lifetime as tuberculosis should not be left for the next generation to tackle. The World Tuberculosis Day is set aside by the global community to remind us all of tuberculosis, a disease of public health importance, in line with this year’s theme “Unite To End Tuberculosis.”
Azinge noted that tuberculosis anywhere is tuberculosis everywhere because of its mode of transmission, hence the declaration of 2017 as the year of ‘Accelerated Case Finding and Treatment in Nigeria,’ noting that symptoms such as cough, fever, night sweats, or weight loss, which may be mild for many months, are exhibited when a person develops active tuberculosis. During this period, people with active tuberculosis can infect 10-15 other people through close contact.
Azinge enjoined anyone with cough lasting two weeks or more to go to the nearest Directly Observed Treatment, Short-course (DOTS) Centre, for medication.
The commissioner revealed that worldwide, over 10 million new cases of tuberculosis were estimated to occur in the year 2016 and out of this number, three million went undetected. In 2016, Nigeria notified less than 20 per cent of the total tuberculosis cases estimated for the year, implying that there were many undetected tuberculosis cases in communities.