Govt: 9000 tuberculosis patients missing in Rivers communities
The government of Rivers has evaluated that 9000 persons living with tuberculosis are missing from communities in the state.
The state’s Ministry of Health also revealed that 12,500 persons had been diagnosed with tuberculosis and treated in the last two years.
The state government said its target was to end the disease by 2030, calling for more efforts to achieve this.
The Permanent Secretary, Rivers State Ministry of Health, Dr Ndidi Utchay, stated this in Port Harcourt, on Thursday, at an event to mark the 2022 World Tuberculosis Day, tagged: ‘Invest to End TB, Save Lives’.
Utchay bemoaned that over 9,000 persons living with the ailment were still missing in the rural communities of the state, adding that 12,500 infected persons were treated between 2020 and so far this year.
The permanent secretary noted that in 2021, over 800 persons were diagnosed and treated, but regretted that over 9,000 persons living with the sickness were still missing.
She hinted that the most affected people were youths in the productive age range.
Utchay stated, “In the last two years, we diagnosed and treated over 12,500 persons affected with tuberculosis in the state. The year 2021 was quite eventful, with over 8,000 persons diagnosed and treated.
“Fortunately, tuberculosis is curable and is among the diseases marked for eradication by the World Health Organisation. In Rivers State, the end TB strategy continues to guide our resolve to eliminate the ailment before the year 2030 with a focus on the three pillars of integrated patient-centered care and prevention, bold policies and supportive systems, and intensified research and innovation.
“Our determination to end TB informed the expansion of diagnostic service points from 12 rapid diagnostic machines (Genexpet) to 17 machines with a new 16-module genexpert diagnostic machine recently installed at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital a2 DOTS centres and 121 microscopy sites for monitoring of treatment.
“With the support of our partners, we have introduced new diagnostic equipment such as the TB Lamp, Trunat, and LF Lamp to ensure that our people have access to TB diagnostic and treatment services, which have been and will continue to be free-of-charge.
“The decision to organise corporate stakeholders in achieving the elimination of TB was premised on the remarkable success in TB case notification of over 8,000 TB infected persons diagnosed and treated.”
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