How To Prevent And Effectively Control Tuberculosis
Nigeria was initially among the top countries with varying ranges of tuberculosis cases, but due to constant awareness in general and private hospitals, clinics and health centres, and also with the introduction of free medical check-ups, follow-ups, and medications, there has been a positive decline over the recent years.
Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by bacteria that spread from person to person by means of minute liquids which spreads using the air medium, by the already infected person which engages in the activities of coughing, speaking, sneezing, spitting, singing or laughing and TB is considered a highly contagious disease, a veritable ground for easier spread of the disease from co-habitants or rather in working places, as everyone can be infected with TB.
However, the incidence of TB infections is not limited to above, but could extend to people who works or lives in an emergency care facilities such as Internally Displaced Person Camps (IDPS), prisons, nursing homes and police cells and constitutes as a veritable ground for high incidence of tuberculosis infections in Nigeria, because of overcrowding, poor ventilation, unsanitary conditions prevailing and poor sensitization health awareness on TB.
In addition, with the following risk factors that enabled ascendancy in the cases of tuberculosis in Nigeria:
Weakened immune system; which makes the human body ineffective in mounting defense, this weak immunity can be as a result of a disease condition caused by HIV/AIDS. As the increased cases of tuberculosis could be attributed to the spread of HIV – the virus that causes AIDS, as the HIV infection diminishes the immune system and make it more likely for people living with HIV to be vulnerable to tuberculosis (TB).
Quartering in certain areas with high incidence of tuberculosis
Substance and tobacco addiction, as the uses has been found to increase the risk of developing active TB by smoking and substance abuse and others can be through the inadequate provision of protective gears for the health workers and non-observance of hygienically regulations.
Signs & symptoms
A person with TB infection may not experience any symptoms but a person with active tuberculosis disease may have any or all of the following symptoms:
Coughing up blood
Coughing lasting up to three weeks or more
Chest pain or painful breathing
Loss of appetite
There are several tuberculosis tests available for medical investigations:
Culturing bacteria to test for TB
Serological tests (TB blood tests)
Sputum smear microscopy
TB drug susceptibility tests
The TB skin test (TST) is the most common diagnostic test for tuberculosis.
Tuberculosis (TB) cases can be prevented or minimised when the following measures are strictly adhered or observed:
Avoid any contact with tiny droplets of saliva or mucus that expelled from TB patients.
Reducing intake of alcohol, avoiding substance use and cigarette smoking.
Avoid use of any cloth or handkerchief used by TB patients.
Eat a healthy and a balanced diet.
Have a BCG vaccine to prevent TB.
If you live with an active TB patient(s) encourage the person(s) to follow treatment instructions.