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TB DAY 2024: EXPERTS ADVOCATE EARLY DIAGNOSIS, TREATMENT TO END TUBERCULOSIS IN NIGERIA               

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TB DAY 2024: EXPERTS ADVOCATE EARLY DIAGNOSIS, TREATMENT TO END TUBERCULOSIS IN NIGERIA                                                                             23-03-24

By Sadiq Aminu                                                       Stakeholders in the health sector have stressed the importance of early diagnosis and treatment in achieving a tuberculosis free society as the World commemorates Tuberculosis Day with the theme “YES! WE CAN END TB”

Those who spoke with Africa 247 correspondent in Akure, Ondo State posited that accessing treatment early would not only reduce new infections but would also stop cases of deaths from the disease.

Tuberculosis popularly called TB is a contagious disease that usually attack human lungs.

It can also spread to other parts of the body, such as the brain, spine even internal organs.

Statistics from the World Health Organisation shows that every year, ten million people are infected with tuberculosis while one point five million die from the disease globally, making it the world’s top Infectious disease despite being preventable and curable.

In Nigeria, an estimated one hundred and twenty five thousand citizens die annually according to data by the National TB, Leprosy and Buruli Ulcer Control Programme.

A consultant community health physician, Dr Paulinus Omoode highlighted the symptoms of tuberculosis to include persistent and prolonged cough, unexplained weight loss, extreme sweating at night, vomiting of blood stressing that lack of prompt medical attention most times, could lead to death.

A patient, who did not want her name mentioned corroborated Dr Omoode with her experience when she was hit by tuberculosis.

Even though TB is preventable and curable, the disease has continued to be a public health issue in view of its high fatality rate especially when patients failed to show up in the hospital early.

The Ondo State programme manager, tuberculosis and Leprosy control, Mrs Foyinsola Olumagba said with early diagnosis, treatment and sustained media awareness, Nigeria can actually end TB in line with this year’s theme of world tuberculosis day which is “YES! WE CAN END TB”

Another expert in Tuberculosis management, Mrs Adedolapo Olofinsayo harped on the need for parents to pay attention to babies who experienced cough beyond two weeks saying childhood TB was real.

The Ondo State Director, public health, Dr Stephen Fagbemi said government was tackling tuberculosis from all fronts with free diagnosis and treatment, hence its slogan for this year’s commemoration which is “No gree for Tuberculosis”.

World Tuberculosis day is commemorated annually to raise public awareness about TB’s devastating implications on health, social and economic parameters and to step up efforts towards ending the global epidemic.

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