Home News Nigeria treated 1million tuberculosis cases in 11 years

Nigeria treated 1million tuberculosis cases in 11 years

by Haruna Gimba

By Iyema David

The Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), said over 1,000,000 Nigerians have been successfully treated for TB from 2011 to date.

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, who said this at a press conference to commemorate the World TB Day, on Thursday in Abuja, said the improvement was recorded due to the country’s efforts in the Tuberculosis (TB) response.

World TB Day is marked on March, 24 every year, to raise public awareness about the health, social and economic consequences of TB, and to step up efforts to end the global epidemic.

The theme of World TB Day 2022 is ‘Invest to End TB. Save Lives’ and Nigeria’s localised slogan is ‘Give more, Do more, End TB now.’

The theme conveys the urgent need to invest resources to ramp up the fight against TB and achieve the commitments made by global leaders to end TB.

Ehanire said that the country’s annual TB notification had steadily increased from 100,433 in 2016 to more than 207,000 TB cases in 2021 – the highest-ever notification and a 45 percent increase from 2020 notification.

He noted that with this array of interventions, the country has no doubt recorded steady improvements in its TB control efforts.

He stressed that however, considering the high burden of TB in the country, there was still a significant gap between the estimated and notified cases; only about 207,000 TB cases representing only 45 percent of the estimated cases were notified in 2021.

“A key challenge to our control effort has been low notification of child TB cases mainly due to capacity gaps among healthcare workers in diagnosing TB in childhood.

“Although we notified our highest number of child TB cases of 12,977 in 2021, the child TB proportion amongst the overall TB notification for the same year was six far lower than the WHO benchmark of 12 percent.

“This implies a high proportion of missing child TB cases in Nigeria. Similarly, our DR-TB response has equally not yielded the desired results. Barely 2,975 14 percent of the estimated 21,000 DR-TB cases were notified in 2021,” he said

Another disturbing trend, the minister noted was the low enrollment rate of diagnosed DR-TB patients on treatment.

“Only 2,197 74 percent of diagnosed DR-TB patients were enrolled on treatment in 2021. This is not encouraging as it is a far cry from our target of 100 percent enrollment for diagnosed DR-TB patients. These untreated DR-TB patients constitute a time bomb as they continuously spread DR-TB in our communities,” he explained.

He noted that the TB preventive treatment (TPT) was also another concerning aspect of the country’s TB response.

The minister said that in furtherance to the country’s National Strategic Health Development Plan II (NSHDP II) as well as the recently developed National Strategic Plan (2021 – 2025) for TB, the Country’s priorities moving forward were to:”Ensure continuity of TB services through provision of integrated TB/COVID-19 services especially in the area of awareness creation, diagnosis and contact investigation.

“Scale up demand creation for TB services through strategic media engagement; Expand community TB interventions to all 36 States and the FCT, Introduce new diagnostic tools, shorter TB Preventive Therapy (TPT) regimen and all oral

medicines for treatment of DR-TB.

“Massively scale up TB service provision including TPT in both public and private facilities as well as in communities; Integrate TB services into Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health plus Nutrition (RMNCAH+N) services.

Amongst other he said were to incorporate TB services as a package of care in the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF), National and State Health Insurance Schemes,” he outlined.

Ehanire said that the 2022 theme for TB was apt and fully aligned with the country’s kick-out TB initiative.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment