The Kaduna state Tuberculosis (TB) and Leprosy control programme has disclosed that case detection for tuberculosis in the state rose to 5,878 in 2020 as against 4,404 in 2019, indicating a 33 per cent increase in one year, in spite of the COVID-19 lockdown during the period.
The Programme Manager, Dr Abubakar Sadiq, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna.
“This case detection rate only represents 30 per cent of the state’s TB case detection target, which means that more work needs to be done,’’ he said.
Sadiq added that the programme will engage medical healers, private chemists and traditional birth attendants in the identification of TB cases in the state, because some people visit them first for treatment before going to the hospital.
“They are the first contact for some people in some communities. The people believe in this group of health workers than going to any health facility.
“We are engaging them now so that they can assist us in our case identification by referring the patients to the hospital for TB test,’’ he said.
Sadiq said that other strategies put in place to improve active case identification included target outreaches, house-to-house searches and screening of all hospital attendees in secondary and tertiary health facilities.
He noted that the treatment rate for the state was excellent, with about 94 per cent of the TB cases diagnosed and managed successfully.
The TB programme manager called on residents to get tested and confirm their status, especially when they have had cough for more than two weeks, assuring that the disease was curable and its treatment is free. (NAN)