By Oluwakemi Oladipo
Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria has appealed to federal, state and local governments to provide more treatment centres for the management of drug resistant tuberculosis.
Dr Vivian Ibeziako, the Programme Manager, Drug Resistant Tuberculosis of the Institute, said on Friday in Lagos, that there currently 22 tuberculosis treatment centres in Nigeria.
Ibeziako made the call at the on-going review meeting organised by the institute and National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme which begun on Thursday.
According to her, the 22 tuberculosis treatment centres in the country are funded with global funds.
“Global funds provide most of the drugs which made them to introduce shorter regimen, because it is better than the longer regimen,” she said.
“Promoting more centres that can manage drug resistant tuberculosis is necessary in all health centres.
“More communities need treatment centres to tackle the missing cases of tuberculosis among the people.
“We have a lot of missing cases in the communities that are yet to be detected.
“The World Health Organisation (WHO) reports that estimated Multi-drug resistant cases among the notified pulmonary tuberculosis cases are 5,200 cases.
“The number of patients that commenced treatment is 1,251 and missing cases for 2016 is 3,514, equivalent to 68 per cent.
“The main purpose of this meeting is to fill the gap of patient that has been diagnosed and yet to commence treatment.
“We are planning to fill up the gap by creating more awareness among the healthcare providers and know more about drug resistant tuberculosis,” Ibeziako said.
She said that drug resistant tuberculosis has become a major headache which should be solved.
“When we commenced the treatment of tuberculosis we were using longer regimen which was a duration of 20 and 22 months, while shorter regimen is between four and six months.
“Shorter regimens reduce the duration of injections and have minimal side effects.
“With the new shorter drug regimen, we can improve our chances of achieving cure, even with drug resistant TB,” Ibeziako said. (NAN)