Imo State seems to be swimming in a stream of one trouble to another almost on weekly basis. The state which was named after the great Imo River which flows 240 kilometers into the Atlantic Ocean is perhaps a new home where tuberculosis can openly display its swimming skills. A recent data Umuaka Times gathered last week shows that the TB ailment has indeed arrived the state with a deadly bang. Already, more than 215 persons have been confirmed dead and the rate of infection is still on the rise. There is a figure of 13,140 cases already recorded in the state. Among this alarming figure, one infected person according to health experts, can infect up to 15 persons or more at a very close range.
In Imo State today, anyone who has the active disease in his or her lungs can spread it through the air. “Active” simply means that the TB germs can multiply and spread in the person’s body. Anyone who gets into a close contact with someone who has the active germ, can easily be infected. The state is not relenting on its duties to fight back. Doctors keep advising those with active cases to always abide by the instructions from their doctors.
From what Umuaka Times gathered when the world celebrated World Tuberculosis Day recently, Imo State government has already enrolled 600 TB patients to the state health insurance scheme to seek medical attention. The patients will receive government funded palliatives during and after the treatment.
In the case of infections, many people have already been infected but they do not know yet because they have not gone for medical examinations. If a proper check on TB is conducted on all the 27 LGAs in the state, the result will certainly be shocking.
A recent document Umuaka Times obtained has the comments below:
Nigeria comes third behind only India and China in terms of tuberculosis cases. Every year, around 245,000 Nigerians die from tuberculosis (TB) and about 590,000 new cases occur (of these, around 140,000 are also HIV-positive). TB accounts for more than 10% of all deaths in Nigeria.
According to WHO reports, an estimated 63,000 Nigerians living with HIV/AIDS develop TB, while about 39,000 die from the disease, each year (WHO, 2018). To further compound the problem, Nigeria is ranked among the 10 countries that accounted for 77% of the global gap in TB case detection and notification in 2016.
Tuberculosis (TB) remains a global public health problem, with developing countries bearing the highest burden. Nigeria is first in Africa and sixth in the world among the countries with the highest TB burden, but is among the 10 countries accounting for over 70% of the global gap in TB case detection and notification. Enugu State, Nigeria reportedly has a notification gap of almost 14,000 TB cases; a situation which must be addressed.