Home » Ogun State Doubles Down on Tuberculosis Fight After Case Surge

Ogun State Doubles Down on Tuberculosis Fight After Case Surge

Increased Detection Efforts Lead to Higher Numbers, But Deaths Remain a Concern

by Victor Adetimilehin

Ogun State in Nigeria is grappling with a significant rise in tuberculosis (TB) cases. Authorities reported over 6,000 diagnosed cases in 2023, reflecting a more than 100% increase compared to 2019 figures. While this surge may appear alarming, health officials attribute it partly to heightened detection efforts.

Early Diagnosis and Treatment Crucial

Ms. Florinda Olawusi, a Senior Programme Officer with the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN), addressed the situation during a World Tuberculosis Day event. She highlighted the importance of early diagnosis and treatment, noting that 95% of identified cases in 2023 received treatment. The treatment regimen typically lasts for six months.

“The TB Long 3 project launched in Ogun State in 2019 has significantly improved case detection,” Olawusi explained. “Previously, we diagnosed around 3,000 cases annually. In 2023 alone, we identified over 6,000, representing a major increase.”

Combating Stigma and Raising Awareness

Despite the progress in case detection, Ogun State health authorities remain concerned about TB-related deaths. Sadly, over 300 people succumbed to the disease in 2023. Public health officials are working to combat the stigma associated with TB and raise awareness about its symptoms and treatment options.

“We urge residents to seek medical attention if they experience a persistent cough for two weeks or more,” said Dr. Omotunde Ogunlaja, a World Health Organization (WHO) representative. “TB is a curable disease, and free diagnosis and treatment are available at healthcare facilities.”

Olusola Taiwo, the State Programme Manager for TB and Leprosy Control, emphasized the importance of addressing risk factors associated with TB transmission. Overcrowding and poor ventilation in living spaces can contribute to the spread of the disease. Public health officials recommend maintaining good ventilation and practicing proper cough etiquette to curb transmission.

The Ogun State government, in collaboration with the IHVN, WHO, and other stakeholders, is implementing a multi-pronged approach to tackle the rise in TB cases. This strategy focuses on:

  • Enhanced case detection: Continued efforts to identify TB cases through improved screening and diagnostic tools.
  • Early treatment initiation and completion: Ensuring timely access to treatment and encouraging patients to complete the full six-month regimen.
  • Public awareness campaigns: Educating residents about TB symptoms, transmission risks, and the availability of free diagnosis and treatment.
  • Addressing risk factors: Promoting healthy living practices and measures to reduce overcrowding in living spaces.

A Call to Action: Ending TB in Ogun State

The recent surge in TB cases in Ogun State underscores the need for continued vigilance and a collective effort to combat this preventable and treatable disease. By prioritizing early diagnosis, ensuring treatment adherence, and promoting public awareness, Ogun State can significantly reduce TB-related deaths and ultimately achieve the goal of TB elimination.

Source: Punch

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