Nigeria has been ranked first in Africa and the sixth globally among the 30 high tuberculosis, TB, burden countries of the world.
According to estimates from WHO global report 2020, tuberculosis kills 18 Nigerians every hour, 47 Nigerians develop active TB every hour, while 7 of them are children.
About 150,000 Nigerians were estimated to have died from tuberculosis in 2019, according to a global tuberculosis report, 2020.
These figures were made public at a virtual seminar organized for media men in Ekiti and Ondo States by the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Program in collaboration with Breakthrough Action.
The facilitators, Dr. Tito Aiyenigba, Itohowo Uko, Raphael Onyilo, Adebare Jumoke, Eze Eze Ogale, spoke on “Tuberculosis Situation in Nigeria: Why the Media Needs to Talk About It”
They noted: “There is an urgent need to increase early TB case finding, notification and treatment”, in the country.
According to the experts, persistent cough for two weeks or more could be tuberculosis, TB, adding that diagnosis and treatment of TB are available in all DOTS and DR-TB treatment centres nationwide.
“Tuberculosis is spread through the air when the person with TB of the lungs coughs, sneezes, sings or talks.”
They urged Nigerians to be knowledgeable on tuberculosis transmission, symptoms and prevention which is still low in the country, by helping affected persons to get medication at the right time.
The experts said though tuberculosis has a similar symptoms with COVID-19, they are different and treated differently.