No fewer than 2000 tuberculosis patients are receiving treatment at various Directly Observed Therapy Centres in the State.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Joe Akabuike, disclosed this in a press briefing on Monday in his office, in Awka, the state capital.
He added that Anambra State and 13 other states, including FCT contributed to over 75 percent of the total TB burden in Nigeria.
Speaking on the theme: “Find TB, Treat TB and work Together to Eliminate TB” the Health Commissioner dispelled the belief that TB could be caused by voodoo.
He maintained that the disease is caused by a germ called Mycobacterium Tuberculosis and that it is spread through the air when people who have active TB in their lungs sneeze, cough, spit, Speak or sing.
The commissioner added that people living with HIV were more vulnerable to TB infection, adding that the ailment could be cured when detected early.
He commended the state Governor, Chief Willie Obiano for the prompt payment of salaries of health workers and provision of health facilities for the TB programme as well as signing of MoU with the global funds to contribute 20 percent of the funds by the donor to control TB in the State.
He regretted that Nigeria has the highest burden of the disease in Africa and the fourth highest among the 22 high burden countries with an annual incidence of 338 per 100,000 and prevalence of 322 per 100,000 individuals.
“The untreated infected individuals can spread the disease to between 10 to 20 persons each year within the poor population, PLWHIV and other key affected populations” he said.
Earlier, the State Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Buruli Ulcer Control Officer, Dr. Ifeanyichukwu Okolie and the Director Primary Health and Disease Control, Dr. Emmanuel Okoye had stressed the need for people to go for diagnosis and treatment when detected, adding that diagnosis and treatment were free.
By: Tony Okafor, Awka
The Punch News