NIGERIA – The Kaduna State Government in Nigeria has procured five mobile diagnostic trucks equipped with digital X-ray machines and 10-color GeneXpert machines for the integrated diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB), COVID-19 and other diseases in remote communities across the state.

The procurement process follows an announcement that the state has identified 10,901 tuberculosis patients as of December 2021 and placed them on treatment.

Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria that usually affects the lungs but it can also affect other parts of the body such as the brain, the kidneys or the spine.

According to World Health Organization, people infected with TB bacteria have a 5–10% lifetime risk of falling ill with TB while those with compromised immune systems such as people living with HIV have a higher risk of falling ill.

Common symptoms of active lung TB are cough with sputum and blood at times, chest pains, weakness, weight loss, fever and night sweats.

TB is treatable, preventable and curable but people with TB can die if they do not get proper treatment,” reports the health organization.

The state government intends to intensify efforts on the detection of cases through increased access to services, out-patients door screening, tuberculosis patient contact investigation among others ways.

The Manager of the State Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Buruli Ulcer Control Programme Dr. Abubakar Sadiq stated that the report indicated an increase of about 86 per cent when compared with the 5,878 cases detected in the year 2020.

The detection of tuberculosis cases will be facilitated with the procurement of the medical equipment hence the increase in the number of patients,” he said.

He acknowledged the immense support received from the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme, the state government and various partners.

He also called on residents to support the state to enable the identification of all tuberculosis cases in communities to eliminate the disease.

Remember, any cough that lasts two weeks or more could be tuberculosis. The disease is treatable as well as curable thus diagnosis and treatment are free and widely available across the state,” he said.

Tuberculosis cases are on the rise in Ghanaian District

Meanwhile in Ghana, the Kadjebi District in the Oti Region has recorded 36 Tuberculosis cases as at December 31ST  2021 which represents a 57.1 per cent increase compared to 27 cases detected in the same period in 2020.

Mr. Derrick Atitsu, Kadjebi District Disease Control Officer, disclosed that the increase was due to routine screening and community surveillance to detect the cases on time.

“Even though 36 cases were recorded, it falls short of 117 targets for the year 2021 because there was no fund for TB surveillance,” he further noted.

The Disease Control Officer advised the public to report to a health facility if they were coughing for two days to two weeks to get screened for TB because screening and treatment were free in the district.

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