At a symposium organized by Nigeria Thoracic Society (NTS) in collaboration with the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH) to mark this year’s World Tuberculosis Day, tagged, “Unite to Eradicate Tuberculosis”, President of the Society, (NTS) Professor Etete Peters, has called on health professionals and allied bodies in the country to put more efforts into educating the public on the ills of tuberculosis, saying that about one third of the world population is affected by mycobacterium tuberculosis each second of the day, noting that there was need for improved strategies to contain the disease including the expansion of what he described as “Directly Observed Treatment Strategy”.
The professor, who is also the Chief Medical Director of University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, has explained that HIV/AIDS pandemic has further led to the increase in TB cases. The problem, he said, has been further compounded by the emergence of multi-drug resistance and even more recently the extensively drug resistant TB. “Globally, up to half a million people developed multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB), with extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) reported by 100 countries”,
He has said that Tuberculosis is the single commonest infectious disease worldwide with an estimated 9 million cases and 1.5million deaths annually. “Though TB is a medical disease it has a lot of socio-economic confounders. “There is slow progress in tackling drug-resistant TB – 3 in 4 drug-resistant TB cases remain without a diagnosis”.