Tuberculosis cases to rise to 6.5 million- Gidado 

 

By Prudence Ijah, Abuja.

 

The KNVC Tuberculosis foundation has reinstated the need to strengthen tuberculosis case finding as it is estimated that 6.5 million cases of tuberculosis will be recorded by the year 2021 with an estimated one million tuberculosis related deaths.

 

The new executive director of KNVC international Dr Gidado Mustapha who disclosed this in a zoom meeting hinted that it is imperative to challenge the status quo, and bring in new innovations in addressing the the overall impact of COVID-19 on tuberculosis response and other health services which suffered due to the collapse of health services due to COVID-19.

 

In his words, “COVID-19 pandemic adversely affected tuberculosis control, management and treatment. Most TB missing cases are among the vulnerable group, especially children and men who have poor health seeking behaviour and people in the rural communities” Dr Gidado said.

 

 

Dr Gidado however advocated for stronger partnership, saying that it is crucial to find mechanisms for collaboration towards ending tuberculosis.

 

Gidado assured that at KNCV Hague, the focus is on partnership, collaboration and coordination as partnership is their way of doing business. He said “we at KNVC like to put the end TB partnership on the driver seat and I want to assure you that partnership is our driving principle at the international level and the community participation and involvement is the way to go.

 

Speaking on the Tuberculosis case finding and management in Nigeria, in relation to the survey carried out in Nigeria which shows that men are more likely to come down with TB than women, Gidado called for the integration of TB control into occupational health and the creation of male friendly TB services so as to get more men tested for TB.

 

Dr Gidado said “Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa, are finding more TB patients. These countries have functional health systems. The countries that are doing well in TB control is tied to the functionality of their health system.

 

Go back to strengthening and collaboration between vertical collaboration and coordination, we need to strengthen the heath system’’ Gidado said.

 

The new KNVC executive director who affirmed that COVID-19pandemic has contributed to the rise in tuberculosis said the similarity of the symptoms of tuberculosis to COVID-19 and the stigmatization associated with both diseases will also contribute to the rise in number of cases hence the call for action to end all forms of stigmatization against TB and COVID-19 patients. He however advised TB patients to adhere to social distancing rules and other medical procedures in their countries.

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