The Anambra Government said it has detected over 8,000 Tuberculosis (TB) cases in the state in 2022 against the targeted 13,000 cases.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Afam Obidike, gave the statistics at a news conference to mark the 2023 World Tuberculosis Day in Awka Friday.
The World TB Day is commemorated every March 24 to build public awareness that tuberculosis remains an epidemic in the world, causing the deaths of nearly one-and-a-half million people each year.
Obidike said: according to the WHO, about half of all the people with TB can be found in eight countries, including Nigeria.
“This is not a good report; hence we need to intensify efforts to reverse the trend.
“This is why Gov. Chukwuma Soludo’s administration has remained focused in making sure that TB programme is given all the necessary attention to end the scourge in our time.
“For the past one year, TB programme has detected more than 8,000 TB cases against the targeted number of more than 13,000 cases in the state.
“That is about 80 per cent detection, which made the state win several national awards as the best TB programme in the South-East in terms of TB cases notification and best Childhood TB notification in Nigeria in 2023.
“These 8,000 cases are currently being treated at the 800 health facilities that offer TB treatment in the state.”
The commissioner described TB as a communicable disease caused by a bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which usually attacks the lungs and could also damage other parts of the body.
According to him, it spreads through the air when a person with tuberculosis of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes or talks.
“TB is treatable and curable if detected early.
“It may lead to death, if not detected and treated early and this is why we want to equip our people with the right knowledge to avoid casualties from TB cases.
“Persistent or chronic cough of more than two weeks which may come with blood-containing mucus, fever, drenching night sweats and weight loss are some of the major symptoms of TB.
“When you notice these symptoms, visit any nearest government hospital for early detection and treatment,” he said.
Also, Dr Chijioke Oke of KNCV-Nigeria thanked the state government for creating an enabling environment for partners to support the state in the fight against TB.
“We have been working with the Anambra Government since 2020 and we have improved and advanced into more communities in terms of awareness, case detection and treatment,” he said.
In a remark, Dr Ugochukwu Chukwulobelu, the Programme Manager, Anambra State Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Buruli Ulcer Management, said that the treatment for all forms of TB was free.
Chukwulobelu thanked the partners for their support in the fight against the spread of TB in the state.