By: Luka Daniel (Bauchi),
The Bauchi State Executive Chairman of Agency for the Control HIV/AIDS, Leprosy, Tuberculosis and Malaria (BACATMA) Dr Alkali Mohammed has disclosed that people who consume much alcohol and tobacco stands higher risk of developing tuberculosis (TB).
Executive chairman of the agency Dr Alkali stated this yesterday during the commemoration of this year’s world tuberculosis day in Bauchi.
He said other people who are liable to be infected with the disease are persons with compromised immunity such as victims of HIV/AIDs, malnutrition, diabetes mellitus and cancer among others.
The Chairman noted that tuberculosis remains the world’s leading infectious killer being responsible for the deaths of 1.7 million people each year and representing the 9th leading cause of death globally.
“Globally, seven countries account for 64 per cent of the total TB cases, with India leading the count, followed by Indonesia, china, Philippines, Pakistan, Nigeria and South Africa. Nigeria ranks 7th among 30 TB high burden countries in the world, second highest in Africa”. He stated.
The BACATMA chairman who revealed that Nigeria is among the ten countries that accounted for 77 per cent of the global undetected TB cases lamented that the undiagnosed cases serve as reservoir for continued transmission of the disease.
According to him, tuberculosis spread through the air when an untreated person with tuberculosis of the lungs coughs, sneezes, shouts or spits, discharging the bacilli into the air.
He further enumerated the early signs of the disease to include persistent cough for two weeks or more, fever, night sweat, weight loss and coughing of blood in severe cases urging anyone that notices the symptoms to visit any of the 127 computerized TB diagnostic centers across the state for free diagnosis.
Sambo assured that once diagnosed with TB, a patient could access free six months TB treatment from any of the 359 treatment centers in the state.