Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, on Monday, raised the alarm that Nigeria is ranked highest country in Africa, with high rate of tuberculosis (TB).
Nigeria, he said, is also ranked fourth among the six top countries with high rate of tuberculosis across the globe, coming after Indonesia, China and Russia.
Adewole disclosed this at the commissioning of Chest Clinic and TB laboratory equipment worth over N4.7 billion, as well as launch of standard procedure laboratory manual at South-West TB Referral Laboratory, University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan.
Agbami Conventurers in the Agbami Field, comprising Star Deepwater Petroleum Limited, Famfa Oil Limited, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Statoil Nigeria Limited and Petroleum Brasileiro, sponsored the projects.
Adewole said the situation was made worse because about 80 percent of TB cases in Nigeria remain undiagnosed while only one, out of six cases, was diagnosed, which represents a threat.
The minister, who commended sponsors of the project, described the fight spread of tuberculosis in Nigeria as a collective one.
“Many countries that have recorded improvement in the socio-economic indicators have invested in health.
“If you look at Malaysia, Thailand, many of them, you will see an improvement in their health indicators and reduction in mortality and referral mortality before they record improvement in their social economic indicators.
“This is another reason investment in health is a win win.
“Then, keying into preventing TB is a must for all of us. TB remains an epidemic and this morning (yesterday), we were at the TB Hospital in Ibadan.
“The message clearly is that all of us must work together to put the tag on TB, that this is a disease that is preventable.
“About 80 percent of our TB cases remain undiagnosed. We are only able to diagnose roughly one out of six, in other words, there are five, out of six cases out there, undiagnosed, and they represent threat to our own health.”
UCH Chief Medical Director, Prof. Temitope Alonge, said the equipment would help in transforming the treatment of tuberculosis in the country.
Managing Director of FAMFA Oil Limited, Modupe Alakija, represented by Mr. Femi Adejumobi, said all co-venturers have completed several projects and have continued to implement more projects to improve healthcare delivery across the country and provide economic development for both the young and old.
Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs, Chevron Nigeria Limited, Sam Otuonye, who represented a director of one of the donor company’s co-venturers, said the laboratory would enhance healthcare delivery in the teaching hospital.