Tuberculosis breakthrough action
The 3 tiers of government in Nigeria are being urged to increase their financial investments in the health sector.

NTBLCP: Stigma drives global burden of tuberculosis

The National Tuberculosis, Buruli Ulcer and Leprosy Control Programme (NTBLCP) says Nigerians infected with Tuberculosis (TB) have rights and those rights need to be respected by the public.

The Director, National Coordinator of the programme, Dr Chukwuma Anyaike, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Abuja.

According to Anyaike, stigma affects people’s health-seeking behaviour, and a factor that drives the global burden of TB. He said that stigma did not only harm people affected by TB, but reduced healthcare workers’ commitment to high-quality healthcare service delivery.

On why men became the biggest TB casualties in Nigeria, he said they were mostly the breadwinners with the attendant exposure to environmental hazards that favoured TB infection. Excessive stress with probable undernutrition give room to TB infection. Lifestyles that may be risk factors to developing TB are smoking, mining, among others, he added.

The NTBLCP director-general said awareness creation and improved laboratory network improved health-seeking behaviour of men, thereby showing improved case detection.

He said “government is improving the strategies toward TB case detection in Nigeria; more men coming up with TB is just confirming the obvious.