Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a type of bacteria that typically affects the lungs, is what causes tuberculosis (TB), which is spread when persons with the disease expel the bacteria into the air (e.g., by coughing). Despite being preventable, treatable, and curable, tuberculosis (TB) continues to be one of the top 10 infectious-agent-related causes of mortality globally, accounting for an estimated 1.4 million fatalities globally in 2019. About 90% of all TB cases each year are in adults, with men being more likely to contract the disease than women, and childhood TB being most common in new-borns and young children under the age of 15 years.
Although pulmonary TB primarily affects the lungs, the illness can also affect other locations. Without therapy, the TB disease fatality rate is significant, although 85% of patients can be cured with the currently approved medicines. With a population of more than 200 million, Nigeria is one of the 14 nations with the largest burden of TB, TB/HIV, and multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), with an expected TB incidence of 219 per 100,000 in 2020. Nigeria also has the biggest burden of the illness in Africa.
The biggest challenges with fighting TB in Nigeria are low case detection.
Low case detection, a lack of financing, and multi-drug resistance are the major obstacles to the fight against TB in Nigeria; roughly 6% of new cases are drug-resistant TB. According to the evidence, a worker with TB loses 3–4 months of work on average each year, which might cost him 20–30% of his yearly family income. Additionally, employees and their families could lose 15 years of income due to premature mortality. It is crucial to discover and treat TB patients who have not yet received a diagnosis.
In Nigeria, the private sector has a history of assisting in efforts to manage and eradicate diseases, such as the battle against polio and malaria, leading to notable improvements in public health. In order to support government efforts to create a healthy workforce through the practice of corporate social responsibility, the private sector is in a good position to increase demand for and access to TB services as well as to enhance the financing of TB services in Nigeria.
What are the responsibilities of the Private Sector.
Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) resources should be made available to help employees and other stakeholders become more aware about TB. Employers are urged to give their staff additional assistance in receiving TB preventive and curative care, as well as mobilizing for early identification and referrals for treatment. Teach occupational health doctors or health and safety officers how to screen for and refer suspected cases of TB to recognized medical facilities for diagnosis and treatment.
Encourage the use of (voluntary) periodic tests, entry screening, and cough surveillance to support passive case detection for TB at the workplace. Through the defense and advancement of human rights and dignity, promote a non-discrimination policy and workplace accommodations for employees with TB. Promote political commitment and increased funding for TB treatment and eradication. Overall, to end tuberculosis in Nigeria as it has in other nations, multi-sectoral cooperation from both public and commercial partners is needed.
Wellness HMO is a leading health maintenance organization.
Leading health maintenance organization (HMO) Wellness HMO, venture capital firm Verod Capital, and Nigeria’s most prestigious and well-known insurance provider Lead-way Assurance Company As part of advocacy efforts, workshops have been held with important professional associations like the Association of Certified and Chartered Accountants (ACCA), the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), the Institute of Capital Market Registrars (ICMR), and the Association of Securities Dealing Houses of Nigeria to educate occupational physicians, health and safety professionals, and human resources in private companies on the most recent TB diagnosis and treatment protocols (NSE).
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