Gombe State has had over 130 cases of tuberculosis (TB) since January, 2020, which cut across men, women and children of all ages. A total of 1.5 million people died from TB in 2020 (including 214 000 people with HIV). Worldwide, TB is the 13th leading cause of death.
The state has neglected this agent of mortality, most especially in the rural areas of the state, where active case findings of TB is low and a high number of suspected cases are ignored or wrongly diagnosed.
Here in Gombe State especially, the northern part of the state where an average household consists of more than 15 members due to the polygamous system of marriage and the extended nature of families, this shows that treating one patient of tuberculosis is not enough as it is normally done. Rather, all members of a household should be tested and treated accordingly.
One of the major reasons why TB thrives in the state is due to the knowledge gap amongst the people. TB is mistaken for the normal cough and it is treated with antibiotics which will only soothe the ailment for a while before it comes back.
As we speak, Gombe is in dire need of tackling this health issue beyond the present rhetoric.
Nasiru Usman, Gombe.