Makurdi — Fifty One new cases of tuberculosis (TB) have been discovered in Benue State from a test conducted on 609 samples screened for the contagious disease.
This was revealed after the 2021 Word Tuberculosis Day's community outreach programme in Benue State.
The Senior Program Officer of the KNCV Foundation Nigeria, Dr. Chubby Eze, who made the disclosure at the weekend, expressed worry that about 9,000 cases of tuberculosis in Benue State were yet to be accounted for.
Eze said: "As a result of this, we are carrying out this community outreach to enable us reduce the number by getting these people to come out for the screening.
"Our target is to test at least 100 persons for the outreach and continue with the exercise even after the World TB Day until we meet our target.
"I advise people who for fear of being tested for COVID-19 at the health facilities and have resorted to self-medication to refrain from such act that has sent so many TB patients to their early graves. I want to emphasise here that TB is treatable and is free of charge.
"If your cough exceed two weeks it is better to seek the attention of a physician, don't go to chemists or pharmacies to buy drugs because only doctors can direct you to go for proper diagnosis in order to ascertain the exact illness that is disturbing you."
He said that the treatment of tuberculosis would not last more than a year depending on where the germs are located in the patient's system.
The Coordinator of the Breakthrough Action-Nigeria, Mr. Dominic Usman, also advised TB patients to ensure that they take the complete dosage of their drugs in order not to come down with drug resistance TB.
Usman said that the health condition of patients who adhere strictly to their prescriptions improved greatly in record time.
He further encouraged TB patients to adhere to all the preventive measures for the overall good and those around them.
"We are working hard to ensure that TB is eradicated in Benue State. That is why we have embarked on this medical outreach to commemorate the World TB Day. We are using the outreach to achieve two things, one to test and treat those found positive immediately and two, is to create more awareness.
"We are, therefore, calling for all hands to be on deck to ensure that we achieve the target of 2035," he said