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Delta Government Makes TB Treatment Free, Encourages Deltans To TakeAdvantage Of Open Window

By Kenneth Orusi, The Nigerian Voice, Asaba

Delta state government has given offer to Deltans for free treatment of Toberculosis just as the government urged Deltans to take advantage of the opportunity to access treatment.

The government also encouraged Deltans to visit health facilities and take advantage of the services offered therein.

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Mordi Ononye made this known Monday during his State wide broadcast in Asaba as part of activities to mark the 2019 Tuberculosis Day Celebration.

According to the Commissioner, TB affects almost every organ of the body which can lead to death eventually if not treated. He said it is difficult to prevent the transmission, except people who are ill with TB are identified, diagnosed and treated in an appropriate and regulated way to confirm their cure.

To reduce the TB scourge, the State Government is providing huge resources evident in the provision of a dedicated budget line for the control of the disease alongside Partners such as Global Fund, German Leprosy Relief Association, National Tuberculosis, Buruli Ulcer and Leprosy Control Programme (NTBLCP) amongst others.

In addition, he said government has multiple sites called DOTS Centers in every Local Government Area to care for patients from diagnosis to treatment, inclusive of government hospitals, Primary Health Care centers and some private health facilities.

Dr. Ononye revealed that misconception around TB is rife even among health care workers with consequent stigmatization and discrimination which has led to sufferers shying away from being identified hence the multiplication and spread of the disease in the environment at an alarming rate.

He stated that TB cases that are still undetected constitute a pool for continuous transmission of the disease in Nigeria which has been classified among the countries with high burden of TB and currently ranked 6th globally and 1st in Africa.

The Commissioner said that according to available data, in 2018 only, there were 12,000 estimated TB cases in Delta State but only 2,284 cases were reported and treated with the gap of over 9,000 undetected patients spreading the disease.

He called on the general public to note that a cough which has lasted for 2weeks or more needs to be tested for TB, a child who is not gaining weight, malnourished, have hunch back, neck swollen, chronic chest infection, diarrhea, need to be evaluated for TB, HIV patients with cough for any length of time need to be evaluated for TB.

The theme for this year’s commemoration is “its time…” saying it''s time to act, Time to fulfill promises made to end TB, in our time, Time for all health facilities to be engaged, Time to end stigmatization and discrimination, Time for religious leaders to educate their members about the disease, Time for everyone to be aware and well informed. Time is now.