At least one million tuberculosis (TB) patients may die, with over 6.5 million people estimated to be affected globally in the near future as a result of the secondary impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is largely due to the fact that the treatment of COVID-19 seems to be getting major attention globally in healthcare services to the detriment of other equally important routine healthcare services like tuberculosis, immunisation, etc.
The new Executive Director at KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation, Dr Mustapha Gidado, disclosed this on Monday in Abuja to reporters.
Gidado, who is the first non-Dutch professional to man the position of the organisation, also explained that TB innovation and interventions have to be made simple and scaled up to achieve significant results of detecting missing cases, raising the index of suspicion by healthcare workers, and effectively treating TB patients.
According to him:
“We are all going through a trying moment with the Covid-19 pandemic globally and with over 20 million already infected and affected. We are already heading to a million deaths which are quite unfortunate and unprecedented.
“The impact of Covid-19 on tuberculosis is overwhelming. Modelling and experience have shown, with the intervention in preventing Covid-19 spread, unfortunately, has come with the destruction of services – with the massive impact on health services.
“It is estimated that over 6.5 million more TB patients will be affected in the near future, and unfortunately, we might end up recording over a million deaths secondary to tuberculosis. All these due to the massive impact of Covid-19 on the health system in general.
“But Covid-19 even though negatively impacting the healthcare services with a significant amount of other diseases suffering, it is our own thinking and believes that we can also leverage a lot from the existing resources on Covid-19 to mainstream support to the health system, for the overall impact on other diseases including tuberculosis.”
“Right now, if we don’t manage stigma generally, then people who are potentially having Covid-19 may be scared of going to health care facilities not to be said to have TB or vice versa.
“Some individuals with respiratory symptoms that could have been tuberculosis might end up not being in the health facility to be early diagnosed with Covid-19 and put on treatment on time.
“The overall impact of Covid-19 response on tuberculosis is in many fronts. One of the common ones is the fact that there is total destruction in the health system because everyone within the health system is concentrating on the response to Covid-19.
“Therefore, it is not only TB that is suffering, other health services are actually currently suffering from the response to Covid-19 – from immunization to antenatal clinic attendance, to other regular clinics like diabetes, etc.
“Our current observation with the immediate impact on Covid-19 on TB is that we are finding less number of TB patients, and some TB patients who are already on care are interrupting their care because they are not able to access healthcare services for continuity of their care.
“However, many countries are coming up with mitigation processes to avoid this impact. The World Health Organization (WHO) has provided us with a global guideline on what to do in our respective countries to ensure that TB services are not totally disrupted because of the Covid-19.
“Funding TB patients is a priority. The first thing we need to do is to know who are these missing patients, where are they, what kind of services do they want to access, and how can we provide those services?”
“My experience being a field worker and now operating at the global level is to ensure facilitating the fact that policies, decisions, and tools that are being made available must be simple and adaptable to the frontline healthcare workers.
“We cannot be in every healthcare facility, therefore, we must make instruments, strategies, and guidelines simple for our frontline healthcare workers to enable us to reach all the TB patients.
“My slogan in this position is to make it simple. If you make it simple, then you can multiply it. In TB control, the only way you can make a difference is if you can go to scale and do it everywhere. Doing it in very small places will not make a difference in TB control,” he said.
Bobby Shmurda denied parole, to stay in prison till 2021
“I’m still a young person”, 78 yr old Pastor Adeboye says
Court dissolves marriage of three years over father-in-law’s interference
King Sunny Ade turns 74
British PM, Boris Johnson, to impose new restrictions as COVID-19 spreads
Vanessa Bryant responds to her mother’s claims of being kicked out after Kobe’s death
Two suspected robbers killed, burnt by angry mob in Calabar
Boy, 15, uses cartons to design building prototypes in Anambra
Why I’m scared of getting married, Actress Genevieve Nnaji reveals
Fani-Kayode berates journalist at press briefing
Joshua Iginla spits fire against CAMA in new video
Save N1,000 daily for your girlfriend’s birthday, lady advises men
Popular showbiz duo, Obi Cubana, Cubana Chief Priest part ways
Ex-convict, 50, caught raping four-year-old girl in Bauchi mosque (Photos/Video)
COVID-19: Nigeria to fine airlines which failed to ensure passengers present negative test results $3,500 per violator
Jacob in the Bible is the number one Yahoo boy- White garment prophet says
VIDEO: Jubilation in Edo as Obaseki wins Governorship election
VIDEO: School building collapses in Lagos
Vote buying: No prepaid, na see-and-buy – Edo voter (VIDEO)
VIDEO: Uber, Bolt drivers protest in Abuja
VIDEO: INEC is failing us, card readers not working – Oshiomhole
VIDEO: Kwara First Lady, Emir reconciled us, mended our broken marriage – Blue-eyed woman, husband say
Will your teeth NOT regrow if a lizard should see it after it falls off?
Busted: Lagos sim card syndicate that steals money through transfers (VIDEO)
- Crime19 hours ago
Gov Wike urges security agencies to bring oil thieves to justice
- General23 hours ago
Men between the ages of 19 and 27 are liabilities, don’t date them – Dr Toolz
- Sports19 hours ago
Rohr calls 25 for Cote d’Ivoire, Tunisia friendlies
- Entertainment19 hours ago
Legendary actor Michael Lonsdale dies at 89
- Entertainment22 hours ago
PHOTOS: DJ Cuppy shows off billionaire father’s Rolls Royce
- Sports22 hours ago
Nigerian-born athletes making waves in combat sports
- Entertainment21 hours ago
Kobe Bryant’s wife kicks mother out of his house
- General19 hours ago
No tribe beats Igbo women when it comes to romance, Nigerian lady says