'Nigeria's neglected cases of tuberculosis is as high as 50%'

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'Nigeria's neglected cases of tuberculosis is as high as 50%'

Globally, TB incidence is falling at about 2% per year.

In the year 2016, over 1 million children were diagnosed with TB and 250,000 children died of the disease.

Christchurch Bridge in Caversham will be lit up with red lights this weekend to support the fight against tuberculosis (TB). If a close family member or someone you are in close contact with has been infected with TB, it is best to get the necessary examination to check if you also have the bacterial infection.

Tuberculosis is one of the oldest and serious illnesses known to mankind, which, despite advances in medicine and vaccination, continues to cause high mortality.

TB is the leading cause of death from an infectious disease worldwide, ranking above HIV and AIDS.

A group of community health specialists have however seen the opportunity provided by the universal access and preference for mobile phones and related messaging technology to reduce the burden of TB in the country. People suffering from TB take medications for nearly 9 months to be cured from the infection. The bacterium becomes airborne and can spread when a person coughs or sneezes and another person inhales that air containing the contaminated droplets.

The risk of TB also increases for people who are undernourished, smoke tobacco, drink alcohol or are exposed to air pollution.

"Normal TB is really easy to treat, four drugs over six months at a cost of $5 will nearly always cure you", says Dr Udwadia.

People infected with TB bacteria have a 5-15% lifetime risk of falling ill with TB.

Latent and active TB are the two kinds of TB.

Some of the barriers are biological as TB has evolved over millennia to evade our immune systems. You might still have the infection but will experience no symptoms.

Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR TB) is caused by a bacteria that is resistant to at least isoniazid and rifampin, the two most potent TB drugs.

According to Pruitt, people with TB disease are sick from TB germs that are active, meaning that they are multiplying and destroying tissue in their body. Over the period of years, it is observed that not all tuberculosis cases are new patients. Early diagnosis is crucial for the treatment of TB. Fortunately, a large majority of the infected people have latent infection, which means they are not yet ill with the disease and can not transmit the disease. International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IUATLD) suggested naming this day as World Tuberculosis Day while celebrating the 100th anniversary of its discovery in 1982.

The 2018 theme for World Tuberculosis Day is "Wanted: Leaders for a TB-Free World". Many countries are now making greater efforts to combat TB. But we need more heroes; leaders to push for strong political commitment to bring Dr Robert Koch's work to its end act and to consign TB to the history books. People who are health workers, doctors, NGO workers, parliamentarians and community leaders can all come together and be leaders in the effort to put an end to TB. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

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