Int’l TB Day 2017: Kogi Govt Needs To Wake Up To A Silent Epidermic – INGRA

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Kogi State government has been called upon to rise to the occasion and curb the spread of Tuberculosis in the state.

This call was made by a Non-governmental organisation, Initiative for Grassroot Advancement (INGRA), in a press statement signed its Executive Director, Hamza Aliyu.

He hinted on the prevalence of Tuberculosis and a worrisome increase in the prevalence of Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis in the eastern part of the state.

“Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB). Tuberculosis generally affects the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body. Most infections do not have symptoms; in which case it is known as latent tuberculosis. Tuberculosis is spread through the air when people who have active TB in their lungs cough, spit, speak, or sneeze. People with latent TB do not spread the disease. The WHO estimates that One-third of the world’s population is thought to be infected with TB.

“The burden of tuberculosis (TB) in Nigeria is high with the nation ranking 10th among the 22 high burden TB countries in the world. Unfortunately, the data from the TB programme of the States’ ministries of health are usually unpublished, which possibly contribute to the prevailing ignorance and poor attitude of Nigerians to the disease. It is estimated that less than 25% of Nigerians have the required knowledge about the disease. The age groups commonly affected by TB are the most productive age groups, with the 25 –34 age group accounting for 33.6% (15,303) of the smear positive cases registered in 2010.
“This scenario is no different in Kogi State, with data showing a spike in the prevalence of the disease and a more worrisome increase in the prevalence of Multi-Drug Resistant TB (MDR-TB), especially in the Eastern Senatorial District (Ankpa, Dekina, Olamaboro, Ofu). Ankpa LGA especially is hardest hit with no fewer than 4 new cases of DR-TB detected quarterly. This coupled with the high HIV burden, in the area, gives cause for concern.
“Unfortunately, 90% of TB and DR-TB funding is donor dependent and this exposes our people to uncertainty.
We call on the State Government of Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello to quickly put policies, funding and human resources in place towards addressing this rising public health issue. It is very disturbing that the 2017 State Budget appropriated very little to the fight against TB and DR-TB.
“TB is durable and preventable and there is no reason for our people to die from it. With the Theme of this Year’s commemoration being “Unite to End TB”, the time to act is NOW!


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