Tuberculosis: A major cause of morbidity & mortality in Nigeria

Tuberculosis (TB) has consistently remained a major cause of mortality and morbidity in Nigeria. Nigeria has also been classified as a high tuberculosis and multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) burdened country. According to CDC, TB is one of the top 10 causes of death in Nigeria; It is also a major cause of child mortality in Nigeria. Based on global reports by WHO, In 2017, 10 million people fell ill with TB, and 1.6 million died from the disease (including 0.3 million among people with HIV). This shows the high epidemic proportions of tuberculosis.

Tuberculosis (TB) is a highly contagious airborne disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a bacterium that grows and divides inside of cells. It’s an infectious disease that mainly affects the lungs. Tuberculosis majorly affects adults in their productive years. However, all age groups are at risk as long as they are exposed to the bacteria or people that have been in contact with it. Over 95% of cases and deaths caused by TB are in developing countries. According to a 2017 WHO report, it is stated that Nigeria has the second highest number of estimated TB cases in Africa and the sixth highest TB burden in the world, with 11 per cent of these cases estimated to be among children. Despite the implementation of several programs, by national and international partners/agencies to curb the high prevalence of TB, it still persists. What could be the cause of this? What salient issues are we missing out on?

Negligence towards practicing what was taught during the programs

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Yeah implementation seems to be an issue.

There are no proper structures in place for the implementation strategies

You’re right Blessing. No proper structure for the workplans and strategies out in place

In my opinion, I think there hasn’t been enough outreach or campaign for tuberculosis in some areas. Many people may not even be aware that they carry the epidemic so they don’t know how to properly manage or curtail the disease. I think more work should be put into campaigns and awareness of the disease. And the drugs should be affordable for people that may not be able to afford the current drug prices.

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I agree with you Jide. Really nice contribution. You couldn’t have said it better.

Sensitization on the signs and symptoms of those with the infection. Then improve availability of the drugs

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Most of the fund put into the program are mainly use for meetings…neglecting sentization and we say we want to increase our case findings it’s not possible…people are dying and if appropriate planning and implementation is done nothing will change.

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Ours is to contribute our quota as a member in our various communities and help educate people on the disease, the treatment and the test is free…

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I think the major issue as stated by others, is lack of structures/strategies to really sustain the implementation of programs designed to tackle the disease.One thing is to create a program, another is to implement it. But the most important aspect is sustaining it. And the drugs should be readily available and affordable to a common man.

Another issue can be the extent of outreach. Most communities in rural settings are not even informed of this disease and the program isn’t reaching there. So if the programs can be extended to more rural settings, I believe we will achieve a significant success over time.

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