National Tuberculosis (TB) Testing Week Aims to Make a Difference in Nigeria

By Mohammed Bello Doka
Abuja Network News. 

Tuberculosis (TB) continues to be a major health concern in Nigeria, affecting children, adolescents, and adults. The HIV epidemic has only worsened the burden of this disease. Unfortunately, TB often goes undiagnosed and unreported in the country, leading to a critical gap in the TB program. The Federal Capital Territory (FCT), where TB is endemic, has seen a high and increasing burden of the disease. Shockingly, in 2022 alone, an estimated 44% (2,072) of TB cases were missed in the FCT. Even more worrying is the ongoing community transmission of TB by infectious individuals who remain undiagnosed.

Learning from the lessons of the National testing week held in August 2022, it was resolved that the National Tuberculosis (TB) Testing Week would be instituted from 14th to 31st August 2023. This initiative aims to address the challenges hindering effective TB control in Nigeria and raise awareness about the burden and impact of TB, as well as the available services for its control. Furthermore, the National TB Testing Week will also provide an opportunity to intervene in other communicable and non-communicable diseases within communities.

With this objective in mind, the FCT TB and Leprosy Control Program (TBLCP) and Local Government Area (LGA) TB and Leprosy Supervisors will embark on dedicated screening and testing for TB, HIV, and other common illnesses from 14th to 20th August 2023 in various Area Councils and designated locations. Their aim is to find every TB case, ensure treatment for every infected person, and improve the quality of life for residents in our communities.

Furthermore, an integrated healthcare outreach event will take place at Lugbe AMAC on Saturday, 19th August 2023, at 10 am sharp. The venue for this event will be the Primary Health Care Center near Hakim's Palace. During this event, there will be extensive sensitization on Tuberculosis infection, the available services for TB patients, and the support that can be provided to them. The goal is to reach as many individuals as possible and create awareness about this debilitating disease.

The National Tuberculosis Testing Week aims to make a difference in Nigeria by tackling the under-diagnosis and under-reporting of TB. It is a crucial step towards effective TB control and hopes to engage the general public and key stakeholders in the fight against this disease. By encouraging screening and testing across the nation, this initiative aims to identify cases early, provide prompt treatment, and ultimately improve the health outcomes of Nigerian citizens.

Let us all come together during this Testing Week to support this noble cause. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those affected by Tuberculosis and ensure a healthier future for our communities.

For more information contact. 

Dr. Ngozi Juliana Ebisike
Programme Manager FCT TBLCP
0902 773 7170

Mrs Deborah Bello
AMAC TB Control Supervisor

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