The Edo Tuberculosis (TB) and Leprosy Control Officer, Dr. Osagie Igbinigie has expressed concern about the high rate of tuberculosis infections in the state.
He expressed the concern in an interview with NAN on Sunday, May 24, in Benin.
He said that there are many cases of the infection in the state and noted that more than 2, 000 cases were registered in the state in 2014.
The control officer said the figure might be higher because some cases are recorded in private hospitals.
“There are many cases of TB in the state, in 2014 we registered slightly above 2, 000 patients.
“We know the cases are more than that because there are cases that are treated by private medical practitioners who do not use drugs supplied by the donor agencies,’’ he said.
Igbinosa said that there are 197 centres in the state that offered free TB services to patients under the national TB control programme.
He, however, said that a major challenge affecting the success of the national programme on tuberculosis in the state is the fear of stigmatisation against sufferers.
The control officer said that stigmatisation has prevented sufferers from accessing treatment, and advised against it.
He said: “One of the challenges we have is fear of stigmatisation, the way people react to someone that has the disease. TB is like any other disease and it can affect anybody.
“When people inhale the TB bacteria into their body, they may or may not come down with the disease.
“Some factors make it possible for a person to be infected such as weak immune system, amount of bacteria inhaled and length of exposure to the source of bacteria.
“People who have diabetes and HIV that are not well managed can easily come down with TB.”