The Federal Government has launched a New Paediatrics Anti –TB Drug for Children to commemorate the 2018 World TB Day which is marked on March 24th of every year.
Briefing the press at the occasion in Abuja, Minister of Health, and Prof. Isaac. Adewole said that President Muhammad Buhari places high premium on health, with TB being its priority, Adewole said the President is poised to see that TB is completely eradicated in Nigeria, noting that all hands must be on deck to report suspected cases of TB both in children and Adult.
The theme of this year’s World TB Day “Find and notify all TB cases while the slogan is “Wanted Leaders for a TB – free Nigeria” the theme was carefully selected to enable us build on our current achievements”. The Minister informed.
He further informed that government would continue to provide quality assured Anti- drugs for the treatment of patients with DR- TB., He commended all the development partners for their support for TB control in Nigeria, especially WHO Global TB program
In his words Prof. Isaac Adewole said “the major drawback in Nigeria’s TB program is low TB case finding for both in Adult and Children, as there are a lot of missing TB cases that were either diagnosed or diagnosed but not reported”.
He noted that TB burden was further compounded by the menace of Drug resistance TB [DR-TB] and the HIV/AIDS pandemic. In 2017, the country notified only 109,904 out of the estimate 407,000 of all forms of TB cases with 25% treated cases, leaving a gap of 302,096 comprising undetected or detected but not notified cases.
He added that in the same year the proportion of the Childhood TB was 7% of all forms compared to 10% recommended by the World Health Organization [WHO] In response to the burden of TB, Therefore the Federal Ministry of Health developed a robust National Strategic plan [NSP] for [2015-2020].The Minister revealed.
In his response the Permanent secretary Health, Mr. Clement Uwaifo, represented by the Director Climate Change Dr Umo Ene-Obang, said that TB remained a public Health problem in Nigeria in that every hour 47 Nigerians developed active TB 7 of these Nigeria’s are children and more worrisome is the fact that every hour 18 Nigeria’s die of TB, a disease that is preventable and curable.
The WHO Regional TB Advisor, African region Dr Wilred Nkhoma, who spoke on behalf of Dr Tereza Kasaeva, Director Global TB Program me, Geneva said TB is difficult to diagnose in both Adult and Children it is a disease that can be Prevented and also cured. She congratulated the present administration for making efforts to end TB in Nigeria.