As the new year gets underway, the Nigerian government through its health ministry is choosing to focus on early tuberculosis diagnosis and has declared 2017 as the year of accelerated finding of tuberculosis.
Announcing this development in a recent interview with Premium Times, the country’s health minister, Prof Isaac Adewole revealed that the government is working closely with the United States government’s Special Ambassador on Tuberculosis, Eric Goosby.
In addition, the minister said government is also planning to procure at least 100 GeneXpert machines as provided for in the 2017 budget.
Describing the public landscape of tuberculosis in Nigeria, Adewole said the country does not have the capacity to diagnose more than 20% of cases of tuberculosis suggesting that the remaining 80% are capable of infecting members of the society.
“We have one of the lowest case detection rates in the world. So we are going to invest, we have about 300 machines, my vision is to find one GeneXpert in every local government, 774 that is where I am going, minimum. It is the new machine that has the better accuracy. But there is 100. In Abuja now we have about 300, so we will continue to improve, and make sure that we train more people,” Adewole said.