Nigeria

Health minister recommends compulsory tuberculosis test for public servants, students

– The minister of health Isaac Adewole has recommended Tuberculosis (TB) screening as a pre-medical test for newly employed public servants and newly admitted students

– The minister said the screening and detection of TB patients would give government opportunity to offer free treatment to the patients

– Adewole said that the move is part of the strategy to achieve one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets, “to bring an end to the scourge of TB by 2030”

Isaac Adewole, the minister of health has recommended Tuberculosis (TB) screening as a pre-medical test for newly employed public servants in both federal and state government agencies, Premium Times reports.

NAIJ.com gathered that the minister in a press statement released by the ministry on Monday, June 25, said introducing the test is part of the strategy to achieve one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets: “to bring an end to the scourge of TB by 2030”

Adewole also advised that the test should be extended to newly admitted students into secondary and tertiary institutions in the country.

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The minister said that to achieve this, the government must utilise all opportunities to screen, detect, and treat TB timely in order to interrupt the transmission of the disease.

Adewole said 2017 and beyond have been declared the years of accelerating TB case findings in Nigeria.

“I wish to advocate that mandatory TB screening be offered to both those who seek health care with or without symptoms/signs compatible with TB and those who do not.”

He directed that all healthcare workers should as a routine, conduct symptomatic TB screening.

“Mandatory TB screening should be part of pre-employment medical tests for the following: newly employed staff in all Ministries, Departments & Agencies at all levels (Federal, state and LGA); and newly admitted students into secondary and all tertiary institutions in the country. This will enable prompt detection and treatment of TB in Nigeria,” the minister said.

“It is also necessary to inform council that in order to further ensure that TB cases are detected among children and their caregivers; I have approved the inclusion of TB response strategies in activities to be addressed under the Saving One Million Lives Programme for Result (SOML PforR).”

The minister called on all commissioners of health to ensure compliance in their respective states, adding that the screening and detection exercise would give the government an opportunity to offer free treatment to the patients.

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In a previous report by NAIJ.com, the environment around Eku, a semi-rural community detached from Abraka, a university town in Delta state, is still and quiet.

A section of the community, away from the hustle and bustle of community life, houses the Tuberculosis and Leprosy Referral Centre, a centre established by the Delta state government for all confirmed cases of tuberculosis and leprosy in the state.

Here, all cases of tuberculosis are referred from any part of the state. The area is cut off from community life due to the contagious nature of the disease.

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Source: Naija.ng

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