Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole

Martins Ifijeh

The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole has recommended Tuberculosis (TB) screening as pre-medical test to newly employed public servants in both federal and state government organisations, and newly admitted students into secondary and tertiary institutions in the country.

This is part of federal government’s strategy to achieve one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets -“to bring an end to the scourge of TB by 2030”.

Adewole, who stated this while chairing the 61st National Council on Health meeting in Kano recently, said that to achieve the goal, government must utilise all opportunities to screen, detect, and treat TB timely in order to interrupt the transmission of the disease.

He said 2017 and beyond has been declared the years of accelerating TB case finding in Nigeria.
“I wish to advocate that mandatory TB screening be offered to both those who seek health care with or without symptoms/signs compatible with TB and those who do not.”

He further directed that all healthcare workers should as a routine conduct symptomatic TB screening at all Out Patient Departments (OPDs) in all health facilities especially at secondary and tertiary health facilities to ensure prompt diagnosis of TB and eventual treatment of the positive TB cases.

“Mandatory TB screening should be part of pre-employment medical tests for the following:Newly employed staff in all Ministries, Departments & Agencies at all levels (Federal, state and LGA); and newly admitted students into Secondary and all Tertiary institutions in the country. This will enable prompt detection and treatment of TB in Nigeria,” the minister said.

“It is also necessary to inform the Council that in order to further ensure that TB cases are detected among children and their care givers; I have approved the inclusion of TB response strategies in activities to be addressed under the Saving One Million Lives Programme for Result (SOMLPforR).” Adewole said.
He called on all Commissioners of Health to ensure compliance in their respective states.