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A fresh report released by the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme, a parastatal under the Federal Ministry of Health, has revealed that Nigeria has been ranked the 4th country with the highest cases of tuberculosis worldwide.

The statistics also showed that over 80 per cent of tuberculosis cases in Nigeria were still undetected, while it claims over 1.5 million lives annually in the country.

The National Coordinator of NTBLCPO, Dr. Adebola Lawanson, stated these in Abuja at a press conference organized ahead of the 2017 World TB Day with the theme: “Unite to end TB in Nigeria: Accelerating TB case findings and treatment.”

She lamented that although tuberculosis was a curable disease, it has become the top infectious killer disease on earth.

Lawanson also emphasized that the burden of the infectious disease has further been complicated by the emergence of drug resistant tuberculosis, the Human Immune Virus and the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.

She said, “According to the 2016 Global TB report, Nigeria has the highest TB burden in Africa and ranked 4th in the world. It is among the six countries that accounted for 60 per cent of the global burden of TB.

“Other countries are India, Indonesia, China, Pakistan and South Africa. Equally, Nigeria and India accounted for 48 per cent of global TB deaths among HIV-negative people and for 43 per cent of the combined total TB deaths in HIV-negative and HIV-positive people.

“The same report also revealed that Nigeria is among the ten countries that accounted for 77 per cent of the global gap in TB case finding. In 2016, Nigeria notified less than 20 per cent of the total TB cases estimated for that year. Therefore, more than 80 per cent TB cases in the country are undetected, implying that, there are lots of undiagnosed TB cases in the community which serve as a reservoir for continue transmission of TB.”



Source: The Punch Newspaper

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