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Nigeria losing health workers to tuberculosis

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By Abdulwasiu Usman

Absence of adequate control measures is a contributing factor.

Dr. Alobu Isaac, the head of the Centre for Development and Reproductive Health, expressed deep concern over the absence of adequate control mechanisms intended to prevent tuberculosis infection and other airborne diseases within healthcare establishments nationwide. Dr. Isaac further emphasized that the absence of such preventative measures, coupled with negligence within these healthcare facilities, has tragically led to the loss of numerous healthcare workers’ lives while carrying out their duties. This statement was made during a media training on Gender and Human Rights for Tuberculosis Programmes in Enugu, coordinated by Grassroots Development and Empowerment Foundation and CDRH, with backing from the Stop TB Partnership Challenge Facility for Civil Society.

Alobu emphasized the utmost importance of infection control within healthcare facilities, stressing the need to safeguard the well-being of health workers, patients, and visitors from any infectious diseases. Among the various facets of infection control, the administrative aspects primarily concentrate on the implementation of effective measures by hospital administrators to effectively manage and prevent the spread of infections within the healthcare setting. Administrative preventive measures involve placing signs at key entrances to serve the purpose of guiding visitors to the correct units and ensuring that infectious patients do not wander around and infect others before reaching their designated areas for treatment.

Documenting patient histories can break transmission cycle.

Personal protective measures, such as hand hygiene, wearing masks, and gloves, is another facet that play a crucial role in safeguarding individuals from airborne diseases. It is also essential to prioritize physical and environmental measures, such as regularly opening windows to ensure adequate ventilation. Neglecting these measures not only hinders ventilation but also amplifies the transmission of infectious diseases. Using Ultra violet lights is a crucial factor when it comes to securing laboratories prone to high contagion, considering its capacity to eradicate harmful pathogens, effectively disinfecting the entire space and establishing a safe working environment.

Taking accurate patient history is also an essential preventive measure. When a patient arrives, it is crucial to conduct thorough history taking, which can determine their condition and guide the investigation and prompt treatment. Thoroughly documenting patient histories plays a vital role in breaking the transmission cycle and ensuring the safety of visitors, other patients, and healthcare providers. Furthermore, it is important to consider imparting knowledge pertaining to behavioral changes on hospital workers, including the security guards. Ensuring infection control should start right from the hospital entrance and this requires that those stationed at the gate are well-trained to effectively guide visitors.

TB related deaths are mostly caused by ignorance, superstition.

The Executive Director of GRADE Foundation, Dr. Patrick Amah, urges the public to promptly seek medical care if they experience any symptoms of tuberculosis. The objective of this initiative, he said, is to actively engage women and girls, who are particularly susceptible to gender and human rights concerns in tuberculosis prevention, through extensive awareness campaigns in print, electronic, and social media platforms. It was disclosed that among women in their reproductive years, tuberculosis stands as the third most common cause of death. Studies highlight the detrimental effects of stigmatization and discrimination towards women, pointing out its presence within relative, healthcare, and communal settings.

He claimed that the media-oriented training program had a specific focus on empowering women, aiming to arm them with the necessary tools to effectively spread awareness about TB in order to combat the widespread lack of knowledge. According to him, the reason behind TB related deaths lies in ignorance, superstition, and delayed medical intervention. Individuals often attribute their illness to food poisoning and resort to visiting numerous spiritual settings in search of a remedy. Should you find yourself suffering from a relentless cough lasting two weeks or beyond, we strongly recommend undergoing a test, the doctor noted.

Related Article: The Ending Of Tuberculosis In Nigeria 

Amah expressed a desire to leverage the media as a means to effectively spread crucial information to the grassroots community. He said there has been a noticeable shift in focus, with an increased emphasis on women due to their innate ability to connect with people on a deeper level. According to him, it is crucial for individuals to be aware of their environment when considering TB risk factors. Since TB is transmitted through the air, it is unpredictable and can originate from any source. Therefore, it is crucial to make wise choices and promptly seek medical attention. He added that it is also important to avoid crowded gatherings to minimize the risk of infection.

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1 month ago

Nigeria losing health workers to tuberculosis.Absence of adequate control measures is a contributing factor. – Express your point of view.

1 month ago

It’s troubling to hear about health workers losing their lives to tuberculosis due to inadequate control measures. We need urgent action to protect healthcare workers and the public. The focus on empowering women for awareness is commendable, but more comprehensive measures are needed to address this issue effectively.

Adeoye Adegoke
1 month ago

That’s really concerning to hear that Nigeria is losing health workers to tuberculosis. The absence of adequate control measures is definitely a contributing factor to this issue. It’s crucial for the government and relevant health authorities to prioritize the implementation of effective control measures to prevent the spread of tuberculosis and protect the health workers who are on the frontlines of fighting this disease. By providing proper training, access to necessary resources, and creating a safe working environment, we can better support our health workers and ensure their well-being. Additionally, raising awareness about tuberculosis and promoting early detection and treatment can help reduce the impact of this disease on our healthcare system. It’s important to address this issue and take proactive steps to protect the health and safety of our dedicated health workers.

1 month ago

Did negligence cause all of these?  Given top priority should be given to employee health and safety. Sufficient controls are essential to solving this problem and stopping additional losses. TB can have a lessening effect on our healthcare system by increasing public knowledge of the disease and encouraging early detection and treatment.

1 month ago

Tuberculosis is killing Nigerian health professionals. One contributing aspect is the absence of effective control methods.It is quite dangerous to have tuberculosis. When medical professionals succumb to these illnesses, it is evident that we are powerless to stop them. To combat these illnesses, we need a deliberate cultural shift.