Lagos – A Consultant Microbiologist, Dr Babajide Mutiu, on Monday said awareness was important in the containment and eradication of Tuberculosis (TB) in Nigeria.
“People should know that co-occurrence of mild fever, headache, night sweat, fatigue, cough, loss of appetite and weight loss, sore throat and chest pain requires a visit to a standard hospital.
“Healthy individuals should guard against medications that are capable of suppressing their immune systems.
“Alcoholism and tobacco smoking also impair the body’s natural defence system and predispose individuals to TB.
“Also, through good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle, individuals create protection against TB and, of course, several other diseases,’’ he said.
He quoted the World Health Organisation (WHO) as saying that new drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis were a time-bomb waiting to explode.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”70560″]
Mutiu said that Nigeria, according to WHO statistics in 2012 was 10th among 22 high TB burden countries that accounted for 80 per cent of the global incidence rate.
“Nigeria is contending with about 2,700 cases of multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis yearly.
“The figures should alarm all of us, including health authorities that a highly resistant strain of TB is taking hold of the nation,’’ he said.
Mutiu said the Federal Government had the responsibility to address the issues of overcrowding and unsanitary conditions in urban areas to curb incidences of TB.
“It is only by reducing infections of TB that morbidity and mortality rates will decrease.
“As an airborne disease, commonly spread through sneezing or spitting by sufferers, contagion is easy and can be rapid wherever large numbers of people are exposed to infected persons,’’ he said.
Mutiu said that urban renewal should minimise overcrowding and filth, while opportunities for self-employment and business activities should be created to empower people to seek better living conditions.
He said: “In order to ensure that TB is eradicated, protective measures should be practiced so that nobody becomes infected with the bacteria that causes the disease’’. (NAN)