Even as Nigeria joins other countries of the world to mark World Tuberculosis (TB) Day, Oyo State government says its free community TB programme of 684 health facilities across the state had accumulated in the screening 136,226 for TB, out of which 11,747 were diagnosed of TB and place on treatment in the year 2022.
Oyo State Commissioner for Health, Dr Taiwo Ladipo, who made this disclosure at the 2023 World TB Day at the College of Health Science and Technology, Eleyele, said Nigeria ranked first in Africa for TB and in 2022, the state accounts for 13th high TB burden states within the country.
Ladipo, represented by Dr Olusoji Adeyanju, Permanent secretary, Oyo State Ministry of Health said the state also recorded 663 patients with co-infection of TB and HIV and therefore a need to stem the scourge of TB in the State.
While the week is to create awareness on the need for screening of persistent cough of two weeks or more, he said the state was collaborating with different partners to provide free TB services in 684 health facilities across the state, with plans to further expand to all the nook and crannies in the State.
Dr Ladipo, therefore, enjoined those coughing to avail themselves of free opportunity to screen and receive treatment if positive in the government health facilities, in a bid to reduce TB burden in the state and end TB by year 2035.
He, therefore, enjoined students at the College of Health Science and Technology, Eleyele while marking their 90th anniversary of the school to go to different communities and enlighten individuals also on the need to have TB test if there is persistent cough.
In a remark by Mrs Toyin Afanchang, the Oyo State Coordinator for USAID Breakthrough Action Nigeria (BAN) said that USAID-BAN will continue to prioritize community TB case finding, leveraging on existing structures to ensure people who may have TB don’t feel shy or afraid to come out to see help.
“We will continue to work with our patent medicine vendors, community leaders, religious leaders and community volunteers, traditional institutions and traditional institutions to give hope to people who may have been infected or down with Tb but do not have the confidence to come out and get tested.”
“It is our responsibility as parents, neighbors and health care workers to give hope to people who may have TB and are shy because of stigma and discrimination in our communities. People should feel confident to come out if they have had a cough for over 2 weeks and are not getting better even after they have taken medications.”
The World Health Organisation Oyo State Coordinator, Dr Philips Zorto, speaking through Dr Oluyinka Dania urged that the increased TB case finding achieved in the week-long World TB celebrations should be sustained in support of the fight to end TB.
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