At least 66 persons has been confirmed dead, out of the 1,611 tuberculosis cases recorded in Niger State. The State Commissioner of Health and Hospital Services, Dr. Mustapha Mohammad Jibrin, who confirmed this on Thursday in Minna, during a press briefing to mark the 2016 World Tuberculosis Day, said 883 persons, representing 85 per cent, have been treated and cured.
According to him, in 2015 about 1,000 persons were screened for MDR-TB, with over 30 persons on a 20 months treatment regime of care in the State. Out of the total number of affected persons, 24 people, representing 2 per cent, defaulted, while the number of death recorded so far represents 6 per cent. Mr. Jibrin commended the Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, who has promised to use the bottom-up system of approach in achieving 1.0 health services in the state by establishing one Primary Health Care centre in each of the 274 wards of the state and provide at least four medical workers each.
He further explained that globally in 2014, an estimated 9.6 million new cases were reported, with 1.5 million deaths, while according to World Health Organisation, 95 per cent of TB deaths occurred in the low and middle income countries of the world. Adding that the government has adopted key strategies to address the burden of TB. This includes awareness creation and sensitization, establishment of TB disease control programme, active surveillance system at the community level and equip hospitals for free treatment.
According to a report by the federal government, about 250,000 people die annually in Nigeria as a result of tuberculosis. It is stated that among the 22 countries that accounted for 80 per cent of TB cases, Nigeria was number four, coming only behind India, Indonesia and China.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, who noted this during the 2015 World Tuberculosis Day organised by the Agbami Co-Venturers, the Federal Government and other development partners in Abuja on Thursday, said a 2015 health report showed that of the estimated 9.6 million TB cases globally, only six million cases had been detected, making an estimated 3.6 million cases either not diagnosed or diagnosed but not reported.
“Of this group, Nigeria accounts for 15 per cent of the gap in TB case notification. The implication is that one out of six cases of TB is only detected and five out of six roam around undetected. In other words, everybody is not safe” he said.
He also said that one of the ways to address the burden of TB, has to do with the emergence of drug-resistant TB and its impact on the country’s control efforts.