The Silent Killer – Tuberculosis

Kelikume Oliseh

In the recently released WHO Global TB report, Nigeria still has one of the highest rate of deaths from tuberculosis and is listed among the 22 high burden countries of the world. These high burden countries collectively account for 80% of tuberculosis cases around the world. High burden countries are divided into three namely : the highest burden of TB; TB and HIV coinfection (TB/HIV) and multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) and Nigeria is in all three lists. This shows Nigeria has a high incidence of tuberculosis.

TB is an infectious disease that generally affects the lung and is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It is transmitted through the air which puts everyone at risk of being infected with the germs. It can also spread to other parts of the body, like the brain and spine. According to the first national tuberculosis survey carried out in 2012 in Nigeria, it was found that prevalence was higher in males than with females and the highest rates being estimated among the 35-54 age group. And, TB prevalence is much higher in urban than in rural settings.

The first national tuberculosis survey in Nigeria was carried out in 2012. Prior to that, most of the tuberculosis survey was provided by WHO.

Let’s take a look at TB incidences in Nigeria and the number of deaths per 100,000 population –

codes:

e inc 100k – Estimated incidence (all forms) per 100,000 population

e mort exc tbhiv num – Estimated number of deaths from TB (all forms excluding HIV) per 100,000 population

Data Source: http://www.who.int/tb/country/en/

Looking at the chart above, we see that the rate of death in relation to incidences is still high and it doesn’t seem to be dropping anytime soon. All hands are on deck to reduce these numbers as much as possible. Although TB leads to death, it can also be cured but requires taking antibiotics for as long as 6 – 9 months.

The chart below shows monies requested (The Nigerian Budget) from 2012 – 2016 in order to tackle this silent killer:

 

* In 2012 – The budget for MDG National Tuberculosis Control accounted for CONDUCTING NATIONAL SURVEY ON TB PREVALENCE IN NIGERIA; PROCURE AND DISTRIBUTE SECOND LINE MDR-TB; MDR CONTROL AND TREATMENT DRUGS FOR PATIENTS NATIONWIDE AND MULTI-DRUG THERAPY FOR MDR TUBERCULOSIS

* In Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control, the 2012 – 2014 budget included an establishment of 610 new DOTS (Directly Observed Treatment, Short-Course) centres, procurement of equipment and laboratory reagents and other consumables.

According to the Global Tuberculosis Report 2016, “Global actions and investments fall far short of those needed to end the global TB epidemic“. Tuberculosis especially those drug-resistant is one of the biggest hurdles we face (Budget threatens tuberculosis progress). There’s a need to create more awareness on how deadly tuberculosis is and get every Nigerian citizen involved.

 

Sources:

http://www.who.int/tb/publications/global_report/en/

http://health.gov.ng/

http://www.who.int/tb/country/data/profiles/en/

http://gamapserver.who.int/gho/interactive_charts/tb/cases/tablet/atlas.html

http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.1316?lang=en

http://www.afro.who.int/en/nigeria/press-materials/item/4396-nigeria-finally-starts-population-based-tuberculosis-prevalence-survey-with-who-support.html