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Tuberculosis: Experts Blame Disease Spread On Recession, Malnutrition

(Last Updated On: March 29, 2017)

By James, Michael Igiri

 

The high incidence of tuberculosis among rural and city slum dwellers in Nigeria has been

blamed on the current economic recession in the country.

Malnutrition as also been identified by experts as a factor that had reduced TB patient’s

chances of surviving treatment.

The Medical Officer, Agege Local Government, Lagos, Dr. Akintoba Akintayo, stated this

during an awareness walk organised by the Lagos State TB/HIV Working Group, to

commemorate the World Tuberculosis Day in Kwakwuakwu slum in Lagos.

According to Dr. Akintoba there is a need to focus more on TB screening and treatment as

more Nigerians have lesser assess to good meals which can boost their immunity against the

infection.

He said, “Though Lagos has made robust investment in healthcare mechanisms, community

Engagement and disease surveillance mechanism, tuberculosis is one of the most violent

infectious diseases it still needs to tackle, and the only way to curtail it is through advocacy.

“Therefore, communities need to know how the disease spreads and how it can be

prevented and controlled. This is important now because recession denies people good

food, which has brought malnutrition and has made the antibodies of tuberculosis patients

almost impotent.”

According to him, about 40 tuberculosis patients are at present being placed on treatment

and being monitored at the Agege TB free care centre.

“Our core challenge is patients who break their treatment plan and stop taking their drugs,

which gives room for multi-drug resistant tuberculosis. The bacteria become resistant to

treatment and drugs become ineffective,” he added

At the programme, the state Tuberculosis Control Officer, Dr. Hussein Abdulrazzaq,

lamented that Nigeria had the fourth highest tuberculosis burden in the world.

According to him, Lagos State, because of its population, bears 8.4% of the nation’s

tuberculosis burden.

Source: The Punch Newspaper