Anybody who coughs for more than two weeks should see the doctor to test for tuberculosis, Isaac Adewole, a professor and minister of health, has said.
He was speaking on Thursday at an event in Abuja on “Find TB, Treat TB and Working Together to Eliminate TB” to mark the World Tuberculosis Day.
Every year, 1.5 million people die of TB and that there were nine million new cases of TB worldwide, with Nigeria carrying almost 10 per cent of the burden.
Adewole asked Nigerians to help in the elimination of TB by visiting their health care providers as cough for two or more weeks could be TB.
“It is a curable disease and the diagnosis and drugs are available and free in all treatment centres nationwide,” he said.
Adewole asked for collaboration among stakeholders on tuberculosis control, care and prevention in Nigeria.
He said Nigeria was still the highest in Africa and pointed out that the burden of the disease in Nigeria was further worsened by the negative effects of interactions between TB and HIV.
Adewole said that there were solutions in the fight against the disease and that the solution was within reach because it was preventable, curable and could be freed in Nigeria.
He said TB was the most common life threatening disease and the number one killer among people living with HIV.
Adewole said the ministry had provided leadership in strengthening collaboration and effective provision of TB and HIV service across the country as part of the efforts to address the disease.
He said that due to the brunt of the disease on children, adolescents and their families, the programme had established a task team on childhood TB.
The National TB Strategic Plan focused more on case finding, prompt treatment and follow-up investigations to ensure that patients were cured, he said, adding that the effective implementation of the plan would enhance achievements of all targets for the control of TB.
He also said that the federal government would continue to provide drugs for the management of drug resistant TB and associated logistics as well as capacity management at all levels.
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