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Nigeria has made significant progress in implementing the 2018 UNHLM Tuberculosis mandate.

NTBLCP: Plateau State Has Detected Over 2,000 TB Cases

The National Tuberculosis, Buruli Ulcer and Leprosy Control Programme (NTBLCP) says over 2,000 positive tuberculosis cases have been detected in the first half of 2023 in Plateau.

Dr. Shedrack Dimang, the Zonal Medical Officer in charge of the NTBLCP in the North Central, said this on Monday in Jos at the commencement of the national tuberculosis testing week.

Dimang said that the positive cases were detected from hospitals and outreaches conducted in the state.

“The rise in case detection is as a result of an increase in public awareness and the public doing away with misconceptions as regards the disease. The aim of the week-long testing is to create awareness about Tuberculosis (TB) and to also intensify TB case findings.

“We also aim at putting those vulnerable to developing active TB on preventive treatment and prevent community spreading, as every undiagnosed and untreated case could infect 15 people within a year,’’ he said.

Dimang noted that during the testing week, those detected would be promptly placed on treatment as there would be prompt notification of persons who tested positive.

He said the act would help address the issue of low TB case findings due to low awareness of the disease.

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Similarly, Dr. Bunmi Alagbe, Programme Officer in charge of TB at Breakthrough Action, an NGO, said the essence of the week was to increase TB case findings, as the state had a high prevalence rate and that in 2022, over 3,670 cases of TB were detected.

Dr. Adakole Okoh, the KNCV Global Fund Public Private Mix (GF-PPM) Coordinator, an NGO, attributed 50 per cent of the TB case notification findings to the private hospitals.

He said the aim of the week-long testing was to accelerate efforts in TB case findings to end its spread.

Similarly, Plateau’s Commissioner for Health, Dr. Cletus Shurkuk, said the essence of the week was to create a massive awareness of TB via community outreaches, as the week-long test would hold in the 17 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the state.

Shurkuk, who was represented by the Ministry’s director of Medical Services, Dr. Audu Samuel, lamented that TB, which was a preventable and curable disease, had led to death and disabilities of persons in the state.

He called on people presenting symptoms such as weight loss, cough which had exceeded two weeks to avail themselves of the free testing and treatment at designated medical outreach centres in their respective LGAs.

The event was organised in collaboration with several other health partners in the state.