By Okon Bassey in Uyo

The Nigeria Thoracic Society (NTS) has called for collaborative efforts to reduce cases of Tuberculosis in country regretting that despite several groups working toward eradication of the disease, Nigeria still ranked high among world 22 nations with highest rate of the deadly disease.

President of the Society, Professor Etete Peters, who made the call during the World 2016 Tuberculosis Day held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, said the rate tuberculosis is increasing in Africa was parallel to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Peters, who is also the Chief Medical Director of the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH), said the theme of the World Tuberculosis Day celebration “Unite and End TB”, saying that a third of the world’s population is infected with mycobacterium tuberculosis just as there is a new infection of the deadly disease every second.

He explained that the presence of HIV/AIDS pandemic has further led to the increase in the occurrence of Tuberculosis adding that the problem has been further compounded by the emergence of multi-drug resistance and even more recently the extensively drug resistant TB.

Globally, according to him, up to half a million people developed multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), with extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) reported by 100 countries.

The NTS President who decries the slow progress made by stakeholders in tackling drug-resistant TB said that 3 in 4 drug-resistant TB cases remain without a diagnosis and that TB affects the economically productive age group in the community thereby affecting productivity.

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