By Sunday John
Mr Ahmed Yahaya, Nasarawa State Commissioner for Health, says the state recorded 12,951 tuberculosis (TB) cases from 2016 to 2020.
The commissioner said this at an event to commemorate the 2021 Tuberculosis Day, in Lafita on Tuesday.
According to the commissioner, 2,927 out of the cases, representing 23 per cent of the figure had both TB and HIV infections, while 977 out of the cases were children aged between 0 and 14 years or 54 per cent of the total figure.
He further explained that 281 cases, representing 2.5 per cent of those patients had manifested drugs resistant tuberculosis.
“The patients with drugs resistance TB, who could not respond to the first line anti TB drugs, were put on second line drugs in their communities.
“Some of them were admitted in the DRTB treatment centre which has a 12-bed space facility at the Evangelical Reformed Church of Christ (ERCC) Hospital, Alushi,” the commissioner added.
In an effort to tackle TB effectively in the state, the government bought a Genexpert machine capable of detecting Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the organism that causes TB in humans.
He said the machine could also detect whether the organism was susceptible or resistant to the first line anti TB drugs, adding that 10 out of the 13 Local Government Areas in the state had the Genexpert machine, which was responsible for more than 91 per cent of the TB tests conducted in the state.
He said delivering better healthcare services to the people of the state was one of the priorities of the government, while appealing to members of the public, with TB-related symptoms, to avail themselves of the tests to help in eradicating the scourge in the state.
Yahaya expressed his delight that TB treatment in the state had achieved an 86 per cent success rate.
The commissioner, therefore, commended the efforts of development partners for their intervention and promised that the Gov. Abdullahi Sule-led administration would continue to do everything possible to ensure total elimination of TB.
On his part, Dr Danjuma Aboki, TB Programme Manager in the state, said the government was doing its best to tackle the menace.
The 2021 TB celebration has as its theme: ‘Clock is ticking.’ (NAN).