IHVN holds Gene Expert Sensitization and Tuberculosis awareness for Health Workers in Ogun - THE BUSINESS PACKAGE


Wednesday, February 10, 2021

IHVN holds Gene Expert Sensitization and Tuberculosis awareness for Health Workers in Ogun

Concerned about the high rate of undetected tuberculosis cases in the country, and the high burden of the disease  in Ogun State particularly , the Institute of Human Virology of Nigeria (IHVN) in conjunction with the Ogun State government has held a sensitization workshop for health workers on the use of Gene  Expert diagnosis and treatment and the use of hub and spoke model agenda in the detection and treatment of tuberculosis.

The workshop   held simultaneously in different locations in Ogun State between the 9th -11 th of February 2021 took place at the Obafemi Owode  Local Government precisely at the general Hospital, Owode  and another at the health facility in ilaro as well as the General Hospital, idi- iroko.

Tuberculosis is a chronic lung disease caused by a type of bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis . Tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious infection that usually attacks  the lungs. It can also spread to other parts of  the  body, like  the brain and spine.

The tuberculosis burden the world over presents a high risk for inhabitants of mankind.  In 2017 no less than 10 million people in the world are  infected with 25% of the cases in  Africa. Out of these figures, 6.4 million are detected and treated while 3.6 million cases are missing T.B cases.

In Nigeria however, the burden of Tuberculosis is as well staggering. Nigeria is said to be among 30 high burden counties globally and it has 6th highest T.B burden in the world and the first in Africa.

Back home, in Ogun State , the state is seen as the 19th high burden state in Nigeria. Reports says estimated number of T. B incidence in Ogun State  is 11,427 out of which a little above 3,000 were successfully treated with no less than 9,000 cases not yet treated .

It is perhaps in response to these global, national, regional and local burdens and realities that the Institute of Human Virology of Nigeria has been intensifying efforts to sensitize health workers  across the country with a view to get more cases detected and treated believing that each cases of T. B successfully traced, detected and treated will prevent the spread of the disease to no less than fifteen other people.

The Ogun State Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Buruli Ulcer Control Programme Manager , . Mrs Esther Oguntayo in an opening remark informed that Ogun State has no less than 544 Directly Observed Treatments sites for the collection of samples on T.B as well as   thirteen  Gene Expert sites where people can access free treatments.

She lamented the fact that awareness about the disease and the rate at which  people  make themselves available for free treatment are still very low hence, the resultant effect of low patronage  of T.B  diagnosis and cure centers by sufferers. She identified low cases funding, high loss to follow –up, delay and incomplete data reporting and reporting tools availability, government ownership, dwindling funding to T.B control, poor community activities, contact tracing, community outreaches, poor Gen Expert Optimization, lack of awareness creation among others as the challenges facing Tuberculosis control in the state.

She speaks ‘’ In Ogun State, an estimated 12,000 number of Tuberculosis cases is expected in a year. However, we have only been able to find a little above 3,000 and placed them on treatment. The implication is that we have so many cases of  T. B that we are yet to capture on treatment. That is why it is important for people to know that there is free diagnosis and free treatments for T. B in no less than 544 health facilities across Ogun State and so when they are having any of the symptoms , including cough or any other symptoms of  T.B they should come to our  health facilities located within the private and government health facilities to get treatment’’

The Gene Expert services according to her is a means of testing and checking for T.B for people to access treatment on time to forestall complications and facilitate the re-integration of earlier sufferers into the community. The goal as she said is to significantly reduce the stress and the socio- economic impact on the people  in line with the Sustainable Development Goal.

The strategies according to her  is to  ensure early  case funding/ proper care and management, comprehensive management of long impact of the disease , integrate tuberculosis control into normal health system among others.

She further  informed that the tuberculosis infection in human can be present , without people having cause to suffer the severe effect of the disease. She however  identified diseases such as HIV, diabetics among others as those that can trigger the infection and make it result into complication while over-crowding can also predispose people to develop the infection.

The following group of people are however identified as those at the risk of contracting tuberculosis, drunkard, people under chronic poverty, the Asbestosis or Silicosis, i.e those who work in places where Asbestos are produced or in the mining sector including the young and aged people adding that about 50 per cent of those infected with the disease, end up dying while  25 per cent became chronic patients.

The Obafemi Owode locl government has some success stories from those cases already managed and successfully treated, while enjoining others to make themselves available for test anytime they notice cough that defied medications. The patients while sharing their success stories expressed gratitude to God and the health officials for their role in safeguarding their lives.

The  Local Government Tuberculosis, leprosy and Buruli Ulcer programme supervisor in Obafemi Owode Local government , Mrs. Sobayo said the health officials in the local government have been making efforts on T. B campaign to places especially markets and social gathering as well as outreaches in Churches, adding that the need for media sensitization is very essential to stem the tide of the disease.

Mrs.  Akorede Adekunbi Ramat is the Medical laboratory Scientist in Charge of Owode –Egba General Hospital. She spoke about the activities at the Gen Expert treatment Centre at the hospital.

‘’ The Gene Expert facility is where they brought the Sputum which we use for the diagnosis of T. B in Children and adults and we run the test with Gen  Expert machines. My observation is that , although we have been having patients, but they are not that forthcoming. We only have more patients when our officers go out on outreaches.  What I think should happen is that anyone detected, the officials should go on contact tracing to detect more infections.  Lately, the response has been very low and the period of getting the result is just within a day after the specimen is received. I will advise that more enlightenment campaigns on radio should be brought into the campaign to assist our field officers in getting more people to make themselves available for the treatment’’.

One of the patient, Akeem Oladipo informed that he has been treated of tuberculosis at the General Hospital, Owode, informing that God has finally taken control of his condition after being placed on medications . He informed that he was given medication on a six month basis twice, indicating that he was under the treatment for about one year. He stated further that the major symptoms that he noticed  was that he  grow lean and he know he would have died if not for the treatment he received at the facility.

‘’ I want to use this opportunity to thank the health officials here at the General Hospital, Owode for the care and the treatments administered on me. Let me be honest with you, were it not for the treatment received, I would have died. Let me advice our people that once they noticed cough of such form that defied treatments, they should immediately seek help at the nearest T. B Centre’’.

Another patient who has been successfully treated, Mr. Shittu kayode also informed The Business Package  that when he had Tuberculosis, he was unaware and was just administering  different drugs on self-medication without much results. And, it  was at the time T.B programme was at its highest ebb and he was taken through medications, especially injection for two months alongside other drugs and the period of treatment lasted for six months altogether . According to him, since that time he has been completely cured. He explained that having received healings through the treatments received, he decided to take it upon himself to join the Tuberculosis Campaign program in Ogun State.

‘’ Since I got cured, through the treatment received at this health facility, I got interested in joining the T. B campaign to assist other people to fight and beat the disease because through my experience, I had since discovered that Tuberculosis is not a deadly disease except for those who refuse to make themselves available for treatment . Most of the sufferers do think T. B cough is an ordinary cough and they refuse to make themselves available for treatment.

‘’ Let me use this medium to advice people that once they have a cough that is more than two weeks, they should make themselves available for the treatment’’.

He commended the Tuberculosis team in the local government who normally take sensitization to interior axis of the local government , saying he normally take them on his motorcycle to  those places on T. b campaigns.


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