From Osakhare Erese Asaba
The Delta State Government said it has uncovered 16, 000 cases of persons currently living with Tuberculosis disease across the state, adding that 2, 258 fresh cases were recorded in 2017.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Mordi Ononye who made this known to journalists on Wednesday at a media conference held in Asaba, disclosed that the state government had established over twenty centres for the treatment of the disease.
Dr. Ononye explained that efforts by the state government to arrest the disease were yet to yield the desired results, adding that majority of people had no awareness on the disease, and its transmission.
The commissioner said that the state government had also recorded several failures in its attempt to treat infected persons following their refusal even with financial encouragement from partners, regretting that the situation had inhibited the access to Healthcare for all in the state.
He said: “as one of the 22 high-burden states for tuberculosis, and multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, the state had recorded 2, 258 cases in 2017, representing only 14.2% of the expected holification, we have at present a figure of 16, 000 cases of people living with the disease across the state”.
The Health Commissioner posited that to control the diseases, the was need to find the affected uncounted of over 13, 000 persons with the symptoms, signs of cough lasting periods of two weeks or more without other accompanying signs like: fever, night sweat, weight loss, loss of appetite, coughing of blood and chest pains, adding that over 200 cases of Multi-Drug Resident Tuberculosis had been notified in the state till date.
Giving statues of the disease worldwide, the Commissioner further disclosed that over 3 million TB patients were undetected in 2016, while 10.4 million new cases were estimated to have occurred in 2017, adding that the 2016 Global TB report showed that Nigeria had the highest TB burden in Africa and ranked fourth on the list of countries with TB.
Dr. Ononye said that Nigeria as the highest burden country for Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis and HIV in 2016, had notification of less than twenty percent of the total TB cases estimated for the year, adding that there were many cases of undetected in various Nigeria communities.
According to him: “it is unfortunate that leaders that should identify with the problems of tuberculosis have been had to come by as stigmatization discrimination and fear were still rite in the society”.
Meanwhile, the Delta State Government has inaugurated Inter-Ministerial Committee on Information for Disease Prevention outbreak and control to prevent and checkmate disease outbreak in the state to this end, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Mordi Ononye stated the need for collaboration between the committee and the grassroots., adding that the essence of the committee was to reach the larger number of Deltans from the top level to the grassroots to know when there is an outbreak of a disease.
Members of the committee were drawn from the Ministries of Information, Health Higher Education, Basic and Secondary Education, Environment and Directorate of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.