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Tuberculosis: 57,000 Children are Infected Annually

By Laide Akinboade, Abuja

Experts have revealed that over 57,000 children in Nigeria are infected with Tuberculosis annually.

Dr. Odume Bethrand, the Executive Director of KNCV, stated this while briefing newsmen on the 2020 Pre- World TB, day organized by National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme, NTBLCP, and Stop TB partnership Nigeria, in Abuja,

He said the emergence of drug resistant TB posed a major health threat and could put at risk the gains made in efforts to end TB. 

He decried the fact that out of  $278 million needed in control of TB in Nigeria in 2019, only $52.8 million, 40%, was made available which affected the control of TB in 2019.

The theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Check that cough, Time no dey’, the theme will ensure the world is reminded of the commitments made and timely need for action to scale up, research, funding, human rights and accountability.


He noted that, “Nigeria is among the 30 high burden countries for TB, TB/HIV and MDR-TB, ranked 6th among the 30 high TB burden countries and 1st in Africa. Nigeria accounts for 12 % of the global TB incidence and notified cases, out of 429,000 estimated new TB cases in Nigeria in 2019 only 120, 266 were notified to the NTBLCP with 28% treatment coverage. 

“An estimated 21,000 DR-TB cases recorded in 2018, only 2,384, 11%, were diagnosed and 83% of them enrolled on second day line treatment. Only 8% of all forms of notified TB cases are children less than 15 years.

DOES CLINIC is only available in 30% of health facilities in Nigeria,  and only 8% of them have TB diagnostic services. Of the $278 million needed for TB control in Nigeria in year 2019, only 40% was available to all the implementers of TB control activities in Nigeria, 8% domestic and 32% donor full dstv,  with 60% funding gap”.

TB is an infectious disease caused by bacteria known as mycobacteria tuberculosis.  It is passed from person to person through air. 

Anyone can have TB disease , but people experience who have weakened immune system are at higher risk of getting sick like elderly people, children, persons with diabetes Mellitus,  HIV, cancer etc. TB most commonly affects the lungs but affect any other parts of the body.

Symptoms include, continuous cough lasting for two weeks or more, fever lasting for 2 weeks or more, sweating at night even when the weather is cold,  weight loss, difficulty in breathing, chest pain and blood stain sputum.

Diagnosis and treatment is free in all government owned health facilities. 

Among experts who were present at the briefing, Ayodele Awero,  from World Health Organization, WHO, Dr. Temitayo Odusote, United States Agency for  International Development,  USAID, Odume Bethrand, CEO of KNCV, Ronke Agbaje,  Institute of  Human Virology Nigeria,    etc.

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