By Chukwudi Nwauba
Awka, June 12, 2021 (MOI) Anambra State Government has approved the establishment of 110 additional Directly Observed Treatments (DOTS) Centres for Tuberculosis (TB) patients to reduce the burden of the disease.
The new centres would bring to 690, the number of TB Centres in the state from an initial 580.
Dr Ugochukwu Chukwulobelu, Programme Manager, Anambra Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Buruli Ulcer Management, said this in an interview with the Information Officer at his at the Jerome Udoji Secretariat, Awka.
Dr Chukwulobelu said the increase in the TB-DOTS centres would ensure easy access and sustained intervention measures aimed at eliminating the scourge of TB in the state.
“When it comes to TB, Anambra is one of the high burdened states in the country.
“It was estimated that one in every 10 residents in the state has TB, also in the last quarter of 2020; we diagnosed 1,002 new cases.
The Gov. Willie Obiano led-administration and their partners recognised this problem and that was the reason they were investing in the establishment of more TB-DOTS centres across the state.
Dr Chukwulobelu explained that DOTS were centres for testing and treatment of TB to reduce the number of cases, and also where healthcare workers observe patients as they take their medicine.
“The test and diagnosis are free; treatment is also free and people need not travel far to get diagnosed or treated for TB,’’ he said.
The programme manager described TB as an airborne disease caused by bacteria, called mycobacterium tuberculosis, which usually attacked the lungs and could also damage other parts of the body.
According to him, it spreads through the air when a person with tuberculosis of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes or talks.
“TB is treatable and curable if detected early. It may lead to death if not detected and treated early and this is why we want to equip our people with the right knowledge to avoid casualties from TB cases.
“Persistent coughs for two weeks or more may be due to TB and needs to be further investigated; residents are advised to report suspected cases of TB within their communities.
“I am also appealing to TB patients not only to adhere to TB treatments but also to make use of the DOTS centres. “We will only make headway in the fight against TB if patients learn to use DOTS centres.’’ (MOI)