500,000 Nigerians Infected with TB Undetected, Tops in Africa – Kano Health Commissioner
Commissioner for Health, Kano state, Dr. Kabiru Getso, said more than 500,000 people infected with Tuberculosis in Nigeria were neither detected nor placed on any treatment, adding that the country still ranks first in Tuberculosis (TB) cases in Africa.
The commissioner, who disclosed this, while addressing newsmen in Kano also said, recent estimates showed that in 2014, Nigeria had about 600,000 people infected with the disease. Getso added that, “More than 500,000 people infected with Tuberculosis in Nigeria remain undetected and not placed on treatment. TB is treatable and curable if appropriate treatment commenced on time.”
He said that Kano was among the six states with the highest burden of TB in Nigeria with estimates, stressing that in Kano state, about 30,000 people were infected with the disease annually. He said in 2015, the state was able to diagnose and put on treatment 6,023 all forms of TB cases, which comprised 5,550 adults and 428 children.
Getso further said 45 Multi-drug Resistant TB cases were diagnosed and put on treatment, leaving a huge gap of about 25,000 missed cases in various communities undetected. However, he said that the state government and its development partners had established 110 laboratories where TB testing was provided free of charge. Besides, Getso said, the state government had set up 381 free TB treatment centres, which also provide free TB treatment across the state.
The commissioner said that active TB cases search was going on in Kano, especially in slums and overcrowded areas, adding that other areas are also at risk, while affirming that massive awareness creation was being undertaken regarding TB in the state. He called on citizens of the state to refer any person battling with cough for more than two weeks to the nearest designated health facility to ascertain his TB status.