The Minister of health, Professor Isaac Adewole has advocated for inclusion of TB test result in the basic requirements for employment in the federal and state civil service as well as admissions into secondary and tertiary institutions with a view to fast tracking diagnosis and total eradication of the disease from the country before 2030.
He made the suggestion yesterday in a keynote address at opening ceremonies of the 61st National Council on Health Meeting currently going on in Kano with a theme “the second national strategic health development plan: a roadmap to achieving health coverage.
The minister further directed the health workers at the Outpatient Departments of secondary and tertiary health facilities across the country to conduct symptomatic TB screening on all care seekers on visit, irrespective of whether they have signs for the disease or not.
He said unless all opportunities for timely screening and treatment of the disease are explored, achieving the SDG target of eradicating TB before 2030 would be an esoteric experience.
“One of the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to bring an end to the scourge of TB by 2030. To realize this, it is important to utilize all opportunities to screen, detect, and treat TB timely in order to interrupt the transmission of this disease.
“To this end, I wish to advocate that mandatory TB screening be offered to both those who seek health care with or without symptoms/signs compatible with TB and those who do not.
“In this regard, all Health Care workers should as a routine conduct symptomatic TB screening at all Out Patient Departments (OPDs) in all health facilities especially at Secondary and Tertiary health facilities to ensure prompt diagnosis of TB and eventual treatment of the positive TB cases.
“In addition, mandatory TB screening should be part of pre-employment medical tests for the newly employed staff in all Ministries, Departments & Agencies at all levels (Federal, state and LGA) and the newly admitted students into Secondary and all Tertiary institutions in the country” the minister stated.