CONSUMER HEALTH: “Don’t stigmatize persons with TB” – Experts cautions

CONSUMER HEALTH: “Don’t stigmatize persons with TB” – Experts cautions



Health Experts have cautioned the general public against discriminating and stigmatising people affected by Tuberculosis (TB), noting that TB patients could be discouraged from coming out for treatment as a result.

They made this known at a one-day training, in Lagos, for journalists on key concepts in Tuberculosis Prevention and Control, organised by the Institute of Human Virology (IHVN) in collaboration with Breakthrough Action-Nigeria (BA-N) and Lagos State Ministry of Health.

The training was aimed at increasing the knowledge of media personnel on TB control efforts in Nigeria and improving the quality of media reporting on the disease.

The Deputy Director and Programme Manager, Lagos State Tuberculosis, Leprosy, and Buruli Ulcer Control Programme, Dr. Olusola Sokoya, explained that TB is a chronic infectious disease transmitted through the air and caused by mycobacterium tuberculosis.

He stated that TB is one of the devastating diseases that have an impact on our health globally and the entire country at large.

He added that the treatment is providing free diagnosis and treatment to people with TB in various health facilities across the state.

According to him, “TB is a preventable and curable disease. It is not a death sentence. Once you are diagnosed with TB, you will receive treatment for free at any general hospitals, some public primary health care centers and some private hospitals.”

According to Senior Programme Officer II TB/RCCE, USAID Breakthrough Action-Nigeria, Dr. Joseph Edor “Once you are treating TB, you won’t take the drugs for life. It is just for six months. Once you start taking the treatment and medication, you will no longer be able to transmit TB after the first two weeks.”

Similarly, the Lagos State Team Lead, USAID IHVN TB LON 3 Project, Dr. Babajide Kadiri, disclosed that children can also contract the disease, adding that TB in children under 15 years of age is a public health problem of social significance as it represents a recent transmission from an infectious adult.