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Tuberculosis notification low in Abia… Program manager Abia Tuberculosis says

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The Program Manager of Abia State Tuberculosis Leprosy and Buruli Ulcer Control, Dr Ahamefula Obioha, disclosed that childhood tuberculosis Notification is still low in Abia, contributing only 3 percent.


Obioha who made this disclosure to Newsmen in Umuahia shortly after the flag of 2024 National Childhood Tuberculosis Testing Week at School Road Primary School Umuahia, pointed out that despite the intensified active tuberculosis case findings he embarked on with his team during the first quarter from January to march,2024,that the presumptive cases of 9814 tested yielded 1,099 case notification.


He described Tuberculosis as an airborne disease which is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis that can be transmitted by inhalation of the droplets of the bacteria in the air explaining that when an infected person happens to cough, sneeze or spit, he releases the droplets that contains the bacteria which a healthy person will inhale. It will go directly into the lungs and develop there, but assured that it is curable.


Obioha revealed that his team planned to cover the 17 LGAs in Abia State both rural and urban areas within the week long activity with a target of 6000 children to be screened.


He expressed appreciation to the  Governor of Abia State Dr Alex Otti for investing alot in the health sector, describing him as a health friendly Governor, as well as the Commissioner for Health Dr Ngozi Okoronkwo who believes in evidence based health services delivery and their partners World Health Organization and the Caritas Nigeria.


“Our Target is to screen over 6000 children in the state from schools, churches, mosques, orphanages, clinics, streets, communities among others as to improve on identification of childhood tuberculosis in the state. This will change the entire narrative which hopefully will be sustained as far as childhood tuberculosis is concern in Abia State.


“The aim is to leverage on this 2024 childhood tuberculosis testing week in Abia State to sensitze, screen  as many children as possible, sensitize teachers, parents and the public on tuberculosis”


Meanwhile the Permanent Secretary Ministry of health, Dr Ifeyinwa Uma Kalu who interacted with Newsmen commended the  State Tuberculosis Program Manager and his team urging  them to widen the scope of children screening, said the Governor wants every child to be captured in the process.


“Every child deserves to have the opportunity, no child should be left behind. Every Abia child is very important. This is the position of the  government and we owe the government  a success story considering the 2024 budget allocation to health ” she said.


Speaking with Newsmen during the ceremony, the Surveillance Officer of the World  Health Organization Dr Mrs Carol Iwuoha, said the National Tuberculosis Program in collaboration with Federal ministry of health declared the 27th of May to 2nd of June as the national childhood tuberculosis testing week.


She informed that WHO collaborated to mark the week because tuberculosis is a disease of global concern and more so in sub Sahara Africa which  affects both children and adults.


She explained that the challenge in childhood  tuberculosis is that it is difficult to diagnose.


Expressing appreciation the Head teacher of School road primary Umuahia, Mrs Mgbeahuru Chidinma thank the organizers and Abia State government for using their school as the flag off center.


She said 4 different primary schools participated in the event, which include the School road primary school Umuahia,  Urban school 1 Umuahia,  City Primary School 1 and Corner stone School Umuahia..


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