Dr Vivian Ibeziako, the Programme Manager, Drug Resistant Tuberculosis, Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria, on Friday called on the three tiers of government to provide more tuberculosis treatment centres in the country.
Ibeziako made the call at the ongoing review meeting organised by the institute and National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme which begun on Thursday in Lagos.
According to her, we have 22 tuberculosis treatment centres in the country with the support of the government, but global funds has been the major supports.
“Global funds provide most of the drugs which made them to introduce shorter regimen, because it is better than the longer regimen,” the programme manager said.
She said that the commitment of governments by providing treatment centres, capacity building and provision of more drugs would help in the management of drug resistant tuberculosis.
“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 was a tuberculosis that was resistant to the drug being used for treatment.
“When we commenced the treatment of tuberculosis we were using longer regimen which was duration of 20 and 22 months, while shorter regimen is between four and six months.
“Shorter regimen 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)