NATIONAL chairman of the Control Research Forum in Benue State, Dr Igagbul Agela yesterday said that 1,218 children were detected with tuberculosis in Benue State.
Dr Agela disclosed this during his presentation in Makurdi at an event marking the end of five years of Sustainable Mechanism for Improving Livelihood and Household Empowerment SMILE in the state.
The chairman said that the figure covered between 2015 and 2018 stressing that it affected children below 15 years of age.
Dr Agela explained that 49 children were diagnosed of the disease in 2015, 166 children discovered in 2016 with a large number of 581 children detected in 2017 as well as a total of 422 infected in January this year alone.
According to him, “Tuberculosis (TB) is common in Nigeria not just in Benue state. Nationally, we had expected 56,000 children with TB across the country but we got 5000 of them.
ALSO READ: Buhari overrules IGP on Adeleke
“In 2017, we had estimated 2305 in Benue state and with all the partners working together including SMILE, we were able to notify 581 cases and SMILE alone contributed 421 cases to that number.
“Early this year, we combed 14 local government areas and they (SMILE) picked out 422 children with tuberculosis in one month alone.
“There were few numbers of children found in some local governments with Spinal TB, one of them from Okpokwu whose parents had been abandoned and out of school but we were able to pick him, but today he is now back to school,” Agela said.
The national however urged stakeholders and governments at all levels not to rest on their oars by ensuring that the global target of ending tuberculosis by the year 2035 is achieved.