Nigeria: FG Commences House-to-House Search for TB Cases in 22 States
50,000 new cases of tuberculosis identified in six months in Abuja had made FG to Commence on a House-to-House Search for TB Cases in 22 States .
The search, which has taken off in 22 states, aims to identify new cases and immediately place them on treatment. Officials said over 50, 000 cases have so far been identified in the first stage of the search which took place between January and June of this year. Stakeholders met at a Global Fund Tuberculosis Grant Review Meeting in Abuja, on Monday to review strategies and adopt ways to sharpen the house to house strategy. Programme Coordinator in search of TB at the Association for Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH), Dr. Queen Ladipo, told The Guardian that through the approach, the stakeholders were also working towards creating greater awareness towards ending TB in Nigeria. The World Health Organization (WHO) considers TB as a major public health problem in Nigeria, with the country ranking fifth among the 22 high TB burden countries which collectively bear 80 per cent of the global burden of TB. The TB burden in Nigeria is said to be further compounded by the ongoing HIV/AIDS epidemic and the emergence of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). Ladipo noted: “We had the first ever TB prevalence survey in Nigeria which showed us that the incidence in Nigeria is times three what the World health Organization (WHO) used to be. One of the national strategies from the National TB Control Programme is to redouble efforts to find these cases. “ARFH supports the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control in the fight against TB in the country. As part of that, we have decided to find the TB cases actively as opposed to the passive approach to finding TB cases. We used to wait for people with cough related cases to come to the clinics. Now we have decided to go to the communities to find them in their houses.”