Nigeria has over 6,000 health centres and 135,000 facilities for the detection and treatment of Tuberculosis, an official of the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme (NTLCP), said in Abuja on Thursday.
Mr Joseph Kuye, Head of Monitoring and Evaluation, NTLCP, made the disclosure at a stakeholders meeting called to come up with strategies on ways to halt spread of new tuberculosis cases in Nigeria.
Kuye said that tuberculosis was caused by a bacteria that most often affected the lungs, but “is curable and preventable if detected early. ”
According to him, researches have shown that tuberculosis is an air borne disease and spreads easily from person to person.
He disclosed that Nigeria has the highest burden of TB in Africa and was fourth in the world.
Kuye added that health authorities in the country were partnering with stakeholders to fund and drive new strategies to curb the disease.
Aderonke Agbaje, Associate Director, Global Fund Programme in the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria, said that another dangerous stage of Tuberculosis called TB-MDR has been discovered.
“One third of the world’s population has latent TB, which means people have been infected by the bacteria but are not ill with the disease and cannot transmit the disease.
“The menace of tuberculosis has been associated with poverty, humanitarian crisis and overcrowded environment and is the leading killer of HIV positive victims in the world,” she said.
Agbaje advised any person coughing consistently for two weeks, to seek medical help in any government hospital as TB testing and treatment was free in all government hospital.