Nigeria Has Highest TB Burden In Africa – WHO

Nigeria Has Highest TB Burden In Africa – WHO

World Health Organisation,  WHO says tuberculosis remains one of the leading causes of death worldwide as it is not just the  struggle to end TB as a disease, but also the struggle to end poverty, inequity, unsafe housing, discrimination and stigma, and to extend social protection and universal health coverage.
WHO Global TB report 2021, says, an estimated nine point nine million people developed TB in 2020, with Nigeria having the highest burden in Africa and accounting for four point six percent of the Global TB burden.
Speaking at the National TB Conference 2021, the WHO Representative to Nigeria,  Dr. Walter Muolombo, said the emergence of COVID-19 pandemic slowed down the progress made towards ending TB epidemic as there was a large global drop in number of people newly diagnosed with TB, from seven point one million in 2019 to five point eight million people in 2020.
According to him, a total of sixteen countries accounted for ninety three percent of the reduction but Nigeria is not among them saying that Nigeria was rather among the few countries that recorded an increase in TB notification with the notification increasing by fifteen percent in 2020.
Dr. Mulombo who was represented by his deputy, Mr. Chimbaru Alexander,  said that about seventy percent of the estimated TB cases in Nigeria in 2020 were not detected despite the increase in TB notification, and these undetected TB cases, he said, continued to fuel the spread of the disease in the community.
He said WHO, as a technical partner will keep supporting the National TB programme at all levels in the development of guidelines, SOPs, adoption of new strategies, regimen and interventions in addition to building capacities and enhancing data analysis and use for optimizing performance.
The WHO representative affirmed the organisation will also support the country in the implementation of the multisectoral approach towards ending TB epidemic in Nigeria adding that the gathering of intellectuals at this year TB conference will provide the country an opportunity to come up with best practices and innovative ideas for ending the TB epidemic.

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