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80% of TB cases in Lagos State still undiagnosed – LSMH

Lagos – The Lagos State Ministry of Health (LSMH), said on Monday that over 80 per cent of Tuberculosis cases in the state have yet to be diagnosed.

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Dr Agbolagorite Olurotimi, Coordinating Director, Integrated Tuberculosis and HIV Control Programmes, Directorate of Disease Control, LSMH, made this known at a sensitisation programme to mark World Tuberculosis Day.

The day, which is celebrated every March 24, had its theme, as “It’s Time’’.

The programme was organised by the Lagos State Ministry of Health, in conjunction with SHOPS PLUS, USAID, and other non-governmental organisations.

The aim is to improve the level of community awareness for the people in Abaranje, Alimosho Local Government Area, and for people to see the need to come out for screening.

Olurotimi said: “It is worthy of note to mention that today, that we are celebrating the World Tuberculosis Day, you will agree with me that massive community awareness is important about the disease.

“From statistics in the state, out of about every eight tuberculosis patients or cases, only one has been diagnosed as it is right now.

“In general, about 80 per cent of tuberculosis cases that are expected to have been diagnosed in the state, still remained undiagnosed.

“So the theme for this year’s celebration is: “it’s time’’, that means it’s time for us to end the scourge of tuberculosis infection in our community, in our environment and among the people of Lagos State,’’ he said.

Olurotimi described the disease as a major chronic infectious debilitating disease which was of immense public health importance.

He said the disease was mainly contracted by an infected person via air droplets or air particles.

Olurotimi noted that the disease cuts across all socio-economic strata which, according to him, was the reason the Abaranje environs was selected.

The Coordinating Director added that the propensity of having the infection freshly was more pronounced in the area.

He urged people to always put up protective measures like covering their mouths before coughing.

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According to him, surveys have shown that Nigeria has an average of about 10.4 million cases of tuberculosis.

“And it’s regarded as a country with the highest tuberculosis burden in Africa and ranks the 6th highest burdened country globally,’’ he said.

Olurotimi urged all hands to be on deck to end the scourge of tuberculosis in the state, in particular, and in Nigeria, at large.

NAN reports that besides the awareness walk, verbal screening was also carried out for people who had cough. (NAN)

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