Akwa Ibom records 3,291 tuberculosis cases in four months

No fewer than 3,291 patients have been diagnosed of tuberculosis between January to April 2024 in Akwa Ibom State

The Program Manager, Akwa Ibom State Tuberculosis, Buruli Ulcer and Leprosy Control Program, Ministry of Health, Dr Bassey Akpan, who disclosed this in Uyo, the state capital, during a media review meeting by Breakthrough Action-Nigeria stated that they were currently receiving treatment.

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Akpan said the number has made the state reach over 90 percent of its target in finding missing cases.

He added that the state would not rest on its oars in identifying those with tuberculosis as any one case not found could infect over 1,300 persons in three years.

Akpan also noted that diagnosing TB in children was still a challenge as some of them do not present general symptoms like cough or produce sputum.

He further noted that TB can occur in any part of the body as extra pulmonary disease manifesting as mumps in one side of the body with cold abscess.

He, therefore, urged parents and caregivers to take their wards to hospitals for TB test when they notice not just cough but unexplainable weight loss, persistent fever, drenching night sweat, fever and general unwellness in them, saying that with the
Portable TB detector machine in place, the disease could be diagnosed at a smallest point.

His words, “Between January and now we found 3,291 cases of tuberculosis and that’s over 90 percent of our target which is quite laudable.

“All of them have been placed on treatment. Last year, we had over 10,800 cases. TB among children is a challenge because every one case not found can infect over 1,300 persons in three years, so no matter how many we are, we must find the missing cases.

“When it comes to children, we do reverse contact tracing by looking for the person that transmitted the disease to the child.

“Weight loss that is not amenable to any medication could be TB, the child may not need to cough but has drenching night sweat, weight loss; let the child come forward to hospital to receive a comprehensive TB care at no cost.”

While warning people to be cautious in public while coughing or staying beside someone coughing, Akpan explained that patients treated of tuberculosis could still be reinfected if they made themselves vulnerable to the disease.

Earlier in his remarks, Bassey Nsa, State Coordinator, Breakthrough ACTION-Nigeria, called for more media partnership in creating awareness and effecting behavioural change on the perception of the people, especially at the community level on tuberculosis and other health-related issues.

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