Nasarawa State Commissioner for Health, Mr Ahmed Yahaya, says that the state has recorded 12,733 tuberculosis (TB) cases between 2015 and 2019. The commissioner stated while addressing newsmen on Tuesday in Lafia to commemorate 2020 ‘World- Tuberculosis-day.’
He explained that 21 per cent of the infected persons within this period were discovered to have TB and HIV. He noted that though the treatment for TB through direct observation started in 2003 at the only centre then, Evangelical Reformed Church of Christ (ERCC) Hospital, Alushi, but there were 13 centres across the state at the moment handling TB cases. The commissioner also said that based on the data available to the ministry, 259 children of age group from 0-4 were diagnosed with TB in 2019, representing 10 per cent of the total TB cases detected.
Yahaya said the age group that was most infected with TB was from 15-55 years which were the economically productive group in the country. He urged the public to avail themselves for testing as ‘genexpert machine’ that is capable of detecting TB within two hours was now being used in order to get rid of the disease in the state. He promised that the government would continue to ensure support toward curtailing TB which was why the government budgeted N18 million in 2020 budget to reduce its prevalence. The commissioner, therefore, commended development partners who were committed toward bettering the health condition of the people. On her part, Salifat Sule, First-Lady of Nasarawa State declared the celebration open and urged the public to present themselves for testing. She promised to support TB patients across all medical facilities in the state to give a sense of belonging. Similarly, Dr Danjuma Aboki, State Programme Manager of TB and Leprosy, said TB was still a problem in the state as in every 10, 000 people 33 were TB positive. He, therefore, said that TB is curable and appealed to people with symptoms to visit any TB centre nearest to them to know their status. The theme for the 2020 World-TB-day is: ‘Its time to end TB in Nigeria.”