‘Technology will help fight TB, other diseases’

By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria

The deployment of technology tools to fighting the scourge of diseases has improved the well-being of people and improved productivity in work places, a medical practitioner, Dr Alda Gemmani has said.

According to him, the application of modern technology to the detection of diseases such as Tuberculosis (TB) and others has led to its reduction across the world, adding however that much still needed to be done.

Gemmani who is also the Medical Director, St. Kizito Clinic spoke in Lagos during the donation of a GeneXpert test device platform to St Kizito Clinic by the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), through the recommendation of the Lagos State TBLCP.

This donation comprised the installation of the equipment at the facility and the training of staff on GeneXpert technology. The GeneXpert test will substantially improve the diagnosis of TB among the Eti-Osa community and beyond. It will enable the detection of Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (MDRTB) hard to diagnose especially among People Living with HIV.

Welcoming the Co-ordinator of Lagos State TBLC programme, Dr Hussein Abdur Razzaq,the Acting Director of KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation in Nigeria, Mrs. Ineke Huitema and Chairman and Managing Director, Chevron Nigeria, Mr Jeffrey Ewing,  Dr. Gemmani praised the initiative championed by the Lagos State TB programme.

Quoting the 2016 World Health Organisation (WHO) Tuberculosis Report, he said: “Unfortunately, case detection in Nigeria is still very low at 16 per cent, while Nigeria is among the six countries accounted for 60 per cent of the new cases in 2015: India, Indonesia, China, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa. Nigeria estimates an incidence of 586,000 new cases in 2015 and 180,000 deaths every year. Early and accurate diagnosis is essential for prompt and adequate treatment.”

Also speaking, Dr Abdur Razzaq, said: “TB still constitutes a serious public health problem in Nigeria, despite the implementation of the DOTS centres since 1993 and the adoption of the WHO “Stop TB strategy” in 2006. We set 2017 as the year of accelerated case finding for TB, we believe that the GeneXpert machine in St Kizito Clinic will further improve their capability to detect TB cases and prevent further infections in the community.”

St Kizito has been involved in tuberculosis care and treatment since 2005 with the use of standard TB diagnostic methods and anti-koch’s therapy as recommended and provided under the NTBLCP through the Lagos State Tuberculosis, Buruli Ulcer and Leprosy Control Programme.

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