The chairman of the World TB day 2018 celebration ,Dr Ayodele Awe disclosed that ‘wellness on wheel truck ‘has been assigned to Utako park to enable drivers to detect tuberculosis disease and also assess treatment .
According to him ,the gene Xpert machine ,which is the most rapid gene molecular machine can detect TB within 100 minutes .
Dr Ayodele Awe said the TB disease can be detected within a space of two hours .
“We are doing sensitization exercise to determine the TB status in quality time ,and once detected ,treatment is administered immediately.
We are engaging in advocacy ,creating awareness and undergoing screening at the same time”
He further advised Nigerians to encourage their families and friends to go for screening ,as the disease is very infectious .
“Any individual that has TB will have infected twenty people , within a year ,and the lcases keep increasing .We are calling on all Nigerians to call the toll free number or visit the nearest dot facility ”
According to him ,the theme of this year celebration “Find and notify TB cases “is very critical at this point in time .
The theme for the year is harped on finding the 300,000 missing cases ,and notify them .
“We want to sensitize the community members to come together ,where there is population density to organize screening for those having cough for more than two weeks either with pains or blood in the sputum ”
“We are very happy with the moves by the minister to find every case of Tuberculosis last year .2017 was declared as the year to look for missing cases ,we have been able to find additional 20,000 TB cases because of the advocacy effort of the government and development partners “Dr Awe emphasized .
He noted globally that Nigeria is still among the 14th country that bears 75%burden of Tb in the world .
“If we cure TB in Nigeria ,we have reduced the burden of the missing cases drastically .
Every eye is focused on Nigeria, because we have the highest number of missing cases in the world
Each year we are supposed to detect 400,000 cases ,but for the past ten years we haven’t detected more than 100,000 cases .It means that every year ,we are missing 300,000 TB cases”
He further highlights that there are so many undetected cases of Tuberculosis in the country .
“Some of the patients are coughing in the community ,and do not know they have the symptoms of the disease ,and they only go to check when they detect blood In their sputum ”
Speaking further ,Dr Ayodele disclosed that ignorance on the part of the health worker in diagnosing TB cases is a major issue .
“We have observed that several TB cases are being missing in the hospitals ,the depth of susceptibilities among health workers is very low,and when an individual complains about cough they prescribes coughing medicine ,expectorant or cyprotab and allows the patient to go ,without proper follow up ”
“We are asking for increase in indepth subscription among the health workers in both private and government facilities ,so that when anyone comes to them ,they should ask for the right dose.
Dr Awe also reteirates the fact that there is low utilization of the gene Xpert machine ,and called on health workers to encourage patients to undergo checkup for tuberculosis .
“We have 390 gene Xpert machines in the country at the moment ,we are expected to have one in each local government area ,the partners are not happy that this machines are underutilized ,they are not happy because people are not going for check up ”
Each day the machine can check 20 sputums,in a whole week ,some will check only ten samples ,patients are not being referred to this facility ”
Speaking further ,he said patients may have tuberculosis and not have cough symptoms ,as there are TB cases thAt affects other parts of the body
“The most common cases of TB is pulmonary Tb’,but we have others cases which affect the lungs and the spine and the skin as well ”
MRS Itohowo Uko ,The head of advocacy ,communication and social mobilization unit ,Is encouraging those at the primary health care level where there is no gene Xpert machine to refer such patients where they can be tested .
“We are on outreach in Utako market to create awareness about the sickness .Tuberculosis is everywhere in Nigeria ,and can be treatable and cured.
“Most people do not know TB is airborne ,when an individual coughs and there are droplets from the air and the mouth ,it goes into the people around them becomes infected ”
“When people are coughing incessantly ,it is a signal that they should go for testing ,and they should diagnose and confirm if it is TB
Within six months ,tuberculosis can be treated if the person is serious with the treatment ”
.A Driver at the Utako park ,Mr ALABI Idris appreciate the organizers for bringing the wellness on wheels trucks programme to their vicinity .
“Have been coughing for some time ,and was advised to go for screening ,.Am calling on other drivers to come out and run test such as HIV/AIDS
It is better to undergo serial test to know the health status of patients .,,as well
as taking preventive measures .