Institute Raises Alarm Over undiagnosed Tuberculosis cases in Nigeria



The Institute of Human Virology Nigeria ( IHVN ) said, over 300,000 cases of tuberculosis are not diagnosed in Nigeria annually, expanding diagnosis for the health condition must be seen as an emergency.

The IHVN, Director, Technical Programs, TB LON 3 project, Dr. Olugbenga Daniel, disclosed in an interview in Abuja that, “Historically, up until 2020, the country’s case finding had been staggering around 24 to 25 percent, which is about 100,000 or 105,000 cases.”

According to reports, the USAID TB LON 3 project is sited in regions 1, 2, and 3.

Region 1 covers North Central and North East, while Region 2 covers South East and South-South, and Region 3 covers the South-Western states of Lagos, Oyo, Ogun and Osun states.

The United States Agency for International Development and the Tuberculosis Local Organisation Network stated that Nigeria was expected to identify 432,000 tuberculosis cases annually.

The project focuses on finding the missing tuberculosis cases, the annual cases that are expected to be found and the specific strategy that was adopted for the facility and community interventions across the zones.

“In 2019, we increased to about 116,000/ 120,000 cases, and thereafter we had an increase in 2020 to about 130,000 cases. All these are out of the expected 432,000,” Daniel said.

“All the findings were due to the concerted effort of both the public facility intervention, the private facility intervention as well as communities across the zones.

“So, this boils down to the fact that we still have over 300,000 TB cases annually that are yet to be diagnosed and another insight to that is that one positive index TB patient infects 15 people annually.

The public facilities are majorly the general hospitals, teaching hospitals. For the private facilities, there are private-for-profit facilities, individually-owned facilities that are supported for TB and also engage some faith-based facilities.

He stressed that 50 percent of hospital attendees were found to visit these facilities first, before visiting the formal health care facilities.

Tuberculosis was known to be a disease that was diagnosed in the laboratory, only presumptive cases were identified on the field, at the facility or the clinic, but the most definitive diagnostics were done at the laboratory.

“So, one of the strategies that we also put in place as a programme for the TB LON 3 project is to ensure that we expand the diagnostic capacity of the supported facilities across the targeted states, which has helped to equally improve the case finding in the supported states,” he said.

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