Tuberculosis: 157,000 Nigerians died for lack of access to drug during Covid-19

By Ahmed Ajikobi
The inability of tuberculosis patients to access medication during the covid-19 lockdown worsened the spread of tuberculosis in Nigeria, thus killing about 157,000 persons in Nigeria in 2019 alone according to a world health organization report.
Director, National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme, Itohowo Uko who disclosed this in a virtual media seminar with newsmen in Ilorin, Kwara state capital identified symptoms of tuberculosis as fever, loss of weight, and protracted cough.
Uko also clarified that contrary to misinformation, tuberculosis is curable, urging people with a persistent cough that has lasted for two weeks to go for a test.
According to her, with early diagnosis, tuberculosis could be cured within six months, adding that treatment of tuberculosis is free at designated hospitals in the country.
“Avoid stigmatization of TB patients. Provide support for those with TB to go for test by dialing 3340. The patient will be attended to and given necessary treatment after test. Prevent the spread. TB is not a death sentence.
“TB is an infectious disease that has the capability of taken over an entire community if not detected.”
She dispelled the notion in some quarters that TB is contracted through sharing of plates, cups and cutlery, or projected through witchcraft, explaining that the disease is only airborne.
She appealed to media practitioners to assist in sensitizing the public about the causes, prevention and treatment of tuberculosis adding that other public health got media attention.

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