The Federal Government report on Tuberculosis has shown that 4.5 million Nigerians are at the risk of contracting tuberculosis (TB) every year.
The government said there are still over 300,000 TB Missing cases in the country.
According to the report, a single person with untreated TB can infect between 10 to 15 people yearly. Hence, putting at least 4.5 million Nigerians at risk of contracting the disease every year.
It further stated that only 11% of persons with Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis (DR-TB) are on treatment, leaving 89% of them in the community.
It is against this backdrop that the federal government is calling on critical stakeholders to ramp up efforts and collaborations through financial support, technical support etc. to squarely fight and kick tuberculosis out of the country as there are currently a funding gap of 70%.
The National Coordinator of the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme (NTBLCP), Dr Chukwuma Anyike, made this known during a workshop by the Stop TB Partnership, in collaboration with Treatment Action Group (TAG), and the NTBLCP of the Federal Ministry of Health, on Monday in Abuja.
He said: “If we don’t cut the chain of transmission, we are wasting our time. If we identify TB patients and do not bring them in to complete their treatment, we are wasting our time.
“We have 440,000 new TB cases yearly, and missing over 300,000 cases. Data suggests that a single case of TB can infect between 10 to 15 persons yearly. If you then do the calculation by multiplying 300,000 by 15, this tells you the number of Nigerians that can get infected with TB yearly.
“Nigeria is among the 30 high DR-TB burden countries globally. It is estimated that 4.3% of the new and 15 percent of the previously treated cases have DR-TB. However, we only have 11% of DR-TB treated, leaving a gap of 89% of DR-TB untreated.
“There are 28 DR-TB treatment centres in Nigeria. However, due to the vandalization of the treatment centre in Calabar, it has been reduced to 27 DR-TB treatment centres across the country. The World Health Organization (WHO) has played a vital role in terms of technical support and creating new treatment protocols.”