Nigeria: Tuberculosis kills 250,000 yearly
By Mohammad Ibrahim
March 25, Abuja: Nigerian Health Minister, Prof. Isaac Adewole has said that about 250,000 people die annually in the country as a result of tuberculosis.
The Minister disclosed this on Thursday during the 2016 World Tuberculosis Day organised by the Agbami Co-Venturers in Abuja, Nigeria's capital.
According to him, among 22 countries that accounted for 80 per cent of TB cases, Nigeria was number four, coming only behind India, Indonesia and China.
“Today, tuberculosis remains an epidemic in different parts of the world, leading to annual deaths of nearly 1.5 million people mostly in developing countries. In Nigeria, it is estimated that we record quite close to 250,000 deaths every year.
He noted that 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.
The Minister further added that there were some key areas to focus on in addressing the burden of TB.
He stressed that one of such had to do with the emergence of drug-resistant TB and its impact on the country’s control efforts.
Professeor Iseac described TB as the number one killer among people living with HIV.
“Of the 250,000 TB death cases recorded, one-third have HIV infection,” he said." We need to address the resource gap as the scourge of the disease was also a challenge to the health ministry because it was a huge constraint.“For instance in 2015, only 32 per cent of the $228m required was released, leaving a funding gap of $155m,” he said.
The Minister further assured Nigerians that funding for the control of TB was appropriated in 2016 budget.He promised Nigerians that the government will increase their funding support for tuberculosis in the country.
The Oslo Times