The Delta State government has announced the creation of 81 centres for the diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis.The State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Nicholas Azinge disclosed this yesterday in Asaba, the state capital.
He said the centres became necessary following the discovery of 20, 000 cases of persons suffering from tuberculosis in 2016.He said they were spread across 200 government-observed and short course (DOTs) centres.
He said that the report showed that the state was among the 22 high-burden states in the country.According to Azinge, tuberculosis has a mode of transmission, hence the state government declared 2017 as “accelerated case-finding and treatment” period.
He explained that before someone could develop active tuberculosis, he would have symptoms as cough, fever, night sweats or weight loss, which may be mild for many months.The commissioner added that during this period, people with active tuberculosis could infect 10-15 other people through close contacts.
He urged any residents with cough lasting two weeks or more to visit the centres.Azinge further disclosed that over 10 million new TB cases were estimated to occur in the year 2016, out of which three million were 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 cases in various communities.
“We had an estimated 14, 000 TB cases living with us, as over 100 cases of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis have been notified in the state till date,” he said.
He added that the 2016 global tuberculosis report showed that Nigeria had the highest tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS burden in Africa and ranked fourth on the list of countries with the disease.