The Federal Government has said undernutrition, HIV, diabetes mellitus, smoking, and alcohol use were the main drivers of Tuberculosis (TB), amongst the working age group of 15 – 44 years in Nigeria.
Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire who made the disclosure at a briefing on Friday in Abuja to mark the 2023 World TB Day, also noted that Nigeria was one of the ten countries in the world with a triple burden of TB, drug-resistant TB and HIV-associated TB.
Represented by the minister of state for health, Ekumankama Joseph Nkama, he said Nigeria was ranked 5th in the world among countries with the highest burden of childhood T.B even as he linked the high rate of TB infections and death to low awareness about the disease saying “only one out of every 4 Nigerians has adequate knowledge of TB.
“TB is a major public health problem globally, likewise in Nigeria. According to the 2022 World Health Organization Global TB report Nigeria is ranked 6th globally and 1st in Africa with an estimated 467,000 TB cases in 2021.
“The country has in place a number of relevant policy documents to chart a strategic direction for the control of the infection. These include the National guidelines for TB prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, the National Strategic Plan (NSP-2021-2025), and the compendium of best practices among others.
“We have adopted and are scaling up new global innovations in every sphere of the response. This has ensured improved access and the efficiency of the interventions. For example, the GeneXpert equipment – a rapid molecular test for TB has increased from 32 in 2012 to 503 in 2022. The mobile digital xray with artificial intelligence, for TB screening among key and vulnerable populations, is being strategically scaled up across the country.”