‘11,000 New TB Cases Identified In Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Oyo In One Year’
There are indications that about 11,000 new cases of Tuberculosis (TB) have been identified in Lagos, Ogun, Osun and Oyo states in the last one year through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Nigeria IHVN TB LON 3 project.
Chief of Party, USAID Nigeria TB LON 3 project, Dr. Aderonke Agbaje, who disclosed this in a zoom interview with journalists in Abuja, said TB is the number one infectious disease killer worldwide and Nigeria has the highest prevalence of the disease in Africa and sixth globally.
Agbaje, who was represented by the Director, Technical Programmes, USAID TB LON 3 project, Dr. Olugbenga Daniel, stated that Nigeria has 300,000 TB cases yearly that are yet to be identified.
According to him, of the 11,000 cases that were found in Lagos Ogun, Osun and Oyo states, 90 to 95 per cent of them were diagnosed using Gene Xpert and with that, the agency was able to identify at the point of diagnosis the Drug-Resistant (DR-TB) and the Drug-Sensitive (DS-TB) cases.
According to him, this had been possible through innovative public health approaches such as engaging the private sector and community activities. He added that facility intervention has really helped in improving the case finding across the four supported states.
Agbaje explained that the Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria (IHVN) USAID Tuberculosis Local Organisation Network is a five-year project that is primarily focused on finding missing TB cases and based on studies. He said that Nigeria is expected to identify 432,000 TB cases yearly but up on till last year, Nigeria’s case finding has been staggering around 24 to 25 per cent that comes to a range of about 100,000 or 105,000 cases.
He said: “In 2019, we increased to about 116,000/120,000 cases and thereafter we had an increase last year to about 130,000 cases. All these are out of the expected 432,000. All these were due to the concerted efforts of the public facility intervention, the private facility intervention as well as the community. So, this boils down to the fact that we still have over 300,000 TB cases yearly that are yet to be diagnosed and another insight to that is that one positive index TB patient infects 15 people yearly and if you do the geometric progression of that, you will see that it is a critical emergency.”
Agbaje stressed the need for domestic resource mobilisation, considering that TB funding is currently majorly donor-driven, stressing that though the federal government is contributing, it’s not really that significant.
On the impact of COVID-19 on the project, Agbaje said: “The project started April 1, 2020. The central state for the project was Lagos and then the other three states were contiguous states?”